The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled "Assessing Steel Pipeline and Weld Susceptibility to Hydrogen Embrittlement” on Tuesday, January 12, from 12 to 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Understanding the impact of hydrogen on structural steel (commonly referred to as “hydrogen embrittlement”) is critical to the design of equipment used in hydrogen service, such as compressors, storage vessels, and pipelines. Hydrogen pipelines in the United States are built in compliance with the ASME B31.12 Code for Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines. The Code is based on decades of research and in-field experience studying several relevant variables, such as steel strength and hydrogen pressure.
Steel hydrogen pipelines have been operated safely for decades under static conditions and modest pressures. As the demand for hydrogen increases, pipeline operating parameters will need to expand outside the current envelope, e.g., higher pressures and frequent pressure fluctuations. The introduction of cyclic pressures brings the potential for a phenomenon known as hydrogen accelerated fatigue crack growth. Understanding the effects of hydrogen embrittlement has been the focus of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) work to ensure the structural reliability of pipeline steels and welds. Welds are recognized as a region of particular concern as varied microstructure, residual stresses, and potential for defects are greater in welds. Experimental work has guided the development of predictive models for steel hydrogen pipelines in relevant service conditions.
This webinar will discuss the breadth of testing performed at SNL focused on the effects of hydrogen gas on steel pipelines and welds, and demonstrate how measured fatigue crack growth laws can be applied to calculate minimum wall thickness needed for steel hydrogen pipelines.