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Materials integrity

The mechanical properties of materials are affected in the presence of hydrogen and may cause degradation in for of so-called hydrogen embrittlement. In areas like hydrogen storage and transport, it is therefore important to contain the harmful influence of atomic hydrogen entering the materials. For the maritime Norwegian industry, this is not a new phenomenon, as hydrogen is produced when protecting metals from corrosion by cathodic protection. Through research and development funded by industry and the Research Council of Norway, the industry has learned to handle and contain these challenges, and the acquired knowledge is implemented in rules and guidelines for design and operation. However, the additional source of atomic hydrogen from pressurized H2 gas, requires further research and competence building.

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Our competence includes:

  • Uptake and diffusivity of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen influence on fracture resistance and fatigue properties
  • Characterization of structure and fracture surfaces in the nano-micro length scale
  • Damage analyses
  • Predictive numerical models for the prediction of hydrogen influenced fracture and fatigue.

Mechanical testing and material characterization can be performed at length scales ranging from nano to macro (mm).

The SINTEF group working in this field has an extensive international network and work closely with NTNU. The competence is developed through direct project with the industry and research project financed by the Research council of Norway in collaboration with national and international industry and universities.

Recently (2019) SINTEF and NTNU received funding for national research infrastructure for research on this topic, related to transport, distribution and storage of hydrogen. It will provide a unique possibility to examine the materials integrity of structural components exposed to pressurized gaseous hydrogen.

Relevant projects:

Hyline - Safe Pipelines for Hydrogen Transport