• Correlation of microstructure and thermo-mechanical properties of a novel hydrogen transport membrane

      Zhang, Yongjun; 张咏君; Bandopadhyay, Sukumar; Trainor, Tom; Balachandran, Uthamalingam; Nag, Nagendra (2014-05)
      A key part of the FutureGen concept is to support the production of hydrogen to fuel a 'hydrogen economy,' with the use of clean burning hydrogen in power-producing fuel cells, as well as for use as a transportation fuel. One of the key technical barriers to FutureGen deployment is reliable and efficient hydrogen separation technology. Most Hydrogen Transport Membrane (HTM) research currently focuses on separation technology and hydrogen flux characterization. No significant work has been performed on thermo-mechanical properties of HTMs. The objective of the thesis is to understand the structure-property correlation of HTM and to characterize (1) thermo mechanical properties under different reducing environments and thermal cycles (thermal shock), and (2) evaluate the stability of the novel HTM material. A novel HTM cermet bulk sample was characterized for its physical and mechanical properties at both room temperature and at elevated temperature up to 1000°C. Microstructural properties and residual stresses were evaluated in order to understand the changing mechanism of the microstructure and its effects on the mechanical properties of materials. A correlation of the microstructural and thermo mechanical properties of the HTM system was established for both HTM and the substrate material. Mechanical properties of both selected structural ceramics and the novel HTM cermet bulk sample are affected mainly by porosity and microstructural features, such as grain size and pore size-distribution. The Young's Modulus (E-value) is positively correlated to the flexural strength for materials with similar crystallographic structure. However, for different crystallographic materials, physical properties are independent of mechanical properties. Microstructural properties, particularly, grain size and crystallographic structure, and thermodynamic properties are the main factors affecting the mechanical properties at both room and high temperatures. The HTM cermet behaves more like an elastic material at room temperature and as a ductile material at temperature above 850°C. The oxidation and the plasticity of Pd phase mainly affected the mechanical properties of HTM cermet at high temperature, also as a result of thermal cycling. Residual stress induced in the HTM by thermo cycles also plays a very critical role in defining the thermo-mechanical properties.