Hydrogen has the potential of increased use in the future as an environmentally friendly fuel. It has, however, shown a tendency to embrittle some materials. To be used in a safe manner and to exploit its full potential, it will be necessary to develop a database of material properties in hydrogen environment. The tests needed to produce this data are costly to perform (tensile test cost 25 times more and low cycle fatigue test are 55 times as expensive). Moreover, there is presently a lack of universal test methods to ensure standardized data within the hydrogen community. Each of the industries that work with hydrogen (aerospace, petroleum, fuel cells, etc.) performs tests by their own laboratory-developed methods, thus rendering cross- comparisons of material property data highly questionable. It is extremely important that data generated in a hydrogen environment be done to a standard that reduces variance to a minimum and allows direct comparison of test results from different laboratories. Doing so will assure that all data generated can be used to further our understanding of the hydrogen effects and to make sure components/products designed for hydrogen are the safest and most reliable possible. This paper reviews the results of two 'round-robin' programs conducted by NASA-MSFC. These two programs examined the reproducibility and repeatability of tensile and low-cycle fatigue test results in high-pressure hydrogen environments. The studies indicated that even with the tightest controls available from current commercial standards, the reproducibility (between different laboratories) and repeatability (within a laboratory) results of the tensile tests exhibited five times the variance as in standard ambient air tests. The variance with the LCF tests were on the same order as with air tests, but that was due to the large variation present in the last Interlaboratory air program. The paper concludes with a recommendation for a program that would allow the development of improved test methods, leading to lower variance in the generation of mechanical property data in the future.
Propellants and Fuels
International Conference for Hydrogen Effects on Material Behavior and Corrosion Deformation Interaction; 22-26 Sep. 2002; Morgan, WY; United States