Hydrogen gas embrittlement resistant materials

February 15th, 2024

R&D Focus Areas:
Hydrogen embrittlement, Pipeline design and integrity management

Lead Organisation:

Not applicable


Start date:
March 2021

Completion date:
September 2023

Key contacts:
Dr. Alex Ilyushechkin, CSIRO Energy – alex.ilyushechkin@csiro.au
Dr. Liezl Schoeman, CSIRO Energy – liezl.schoeman@csiro.au

CSIRO Hydrogen energy systems FSP, CSIRO Energy BU

Project total cost:
Approximately AUD$600 000

Project summary description:
One of key challenges which has been identified in the development of new technologies dealing with hydrogen production and hydrogen processing is the development of materials capable of sustained operation in specific operational conditions, including high temperature, high pressure, and atmospheres which include pure hydrogen or hydrogen in mixtures. Currently, there is a lack of comprehensive knowledge on the alloys and components performance in long term hydrogen environments at industrial conditions associated with high temperature hydrogen processing/production.

Understanding the mechanisms of bulk and surface degradation of steels, alloys, welds and joints caused by hydrogen environmental embrittlement during operations will guide the materials selection or design of new materials enabled to withstand operating conditions typical for hydrogen production by ammonia cracking, methane reforming and syngas processing.

This project would evaluate a number of potential materials (steels, alloys, joints) which can be used in the construction of reactors, pipelines and units operated for hydrogen production, separation and performance testing at specific temperature ranges, pressures and atmospheres. The effect of hydrogen gas purity and various typical impurity concentrations would be evaluated and characterised.

The outcomes from the project would be an understanding of the degradation mechanisms of metals from hydrogen embrittlement at simulated industrial conditions and a ranking of the metals for different industrial applications. The latter stages of the project would also explore surface treatments and the effects that these have on degradation, with the aim of the development of more resistant materials for sustained operation.

Related publications and key links:

  1. Y. Ilyushechkin, L. Schoeman, L. Carter, and S. Hla, Materials Challenges and Hydrogen Embrittlement Assessment for Hydrogen Utilisation in Industrial Scale, Hydrogen 2023, 4, 599–619. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrogen4030039
  2. Ilyushechkin, C. Chen, A. Cousins, L. Carter, L. Schoeman Characteristics of alloys and compacts exposed in various H2 processing conditions, WREC2022: World Renewable Energy Congress XXI, Perth, Australia, 4-9 December, 2022
  3. Y. Ilyushechkin, L. Carter, L. Schoeman, Characterization of materials exposed to H2-containing atmospheres at elevated temperatures and pressure, MH2022: the International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems, Perth, Australia, 30 October -4 November, 2022

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


February 2024