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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Kazuya Tajiri

Committee Member 1

Amitabh Narain

Committee Member 2

Yun Hang Hu


The overall objective of this study is to obtain the water transport characteristics of proton exchange membranes like Nafion at subzero temperatures for automotive applications. For this, three different properties of the membrane are quantified: water content, proton conductivity and diffusivity.

Water content is computed from the difference in weight between the dry weight of the membrane and the weight of the membrane at each test condition. To quantify proton conductivity and water diffusivity, a test cell is designed and fabricated to measure the voltage across the membrane at test conditions.

A three dimensional equation is developed for water content in terms of relative humidity and temperature. Equations for proton conductivity and water diffusion coefficient are presented in terms of water content and temperature. These equations are developed from experimental data obtained between -300C and 300C at different relative humidity.