Sensitivity of stresses and failure mechanisms in solid oxide fuel cells to the mechanical properties and geometry of the constitutive layers
A model based on the Euler-Bernoulli theory is used to assess the sensitivity of residual stresses in SOFCs to the mechanical properties and geometry of the constituents. It considers different cell configurations, characterized by the presence or not of a compensating layer, and a cathode based on either lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) or lanthanum strontium cobaltite ferrite (LSCF). The implementation of creep in the model provides insights into the parameters that affect the zero-stress temperature and behavior during aging. The amount of irreversible deformation generated in the cell layers after the sintering step depends on the mechanical properties of the layers, type of cell and to some extent, cooling rate. XRD measurements from literature are used to verify the prediction. Depending on the mechanical properties, the stress state in the LSM cathode changes from tensile to compressive with respect to temperature. During combined aging and thermal cycling, tensile stress might arise in the compatibility layer of LSCF-based cells, due to the relief of the initial compressive stress at operating temperature. The Weibull analysis provides the assessment of mechanical failure. A simplified approach is used for buckling-driven delamination, but the propagation of cracks is predicted for unlikely large pre-existing defects.