Assessing the Susceptibility of Existing Pipelines to Hydrogen Embrittlement

Tim Boot*, Ton Riemslag, Elise Reinton, Ping Liu, Carey L. Walters, Vera Popovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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With fossil fuels being phased out and growing global interest in a hydrogen economy, there is demand for re-purposing existing pipelines for transportation of hydrogen gas. However, hydrogen embrittlement (HE) can limit pipeline steel’s performance. In this study, the effect of hydrogen on the mechanical properties of an X60 base metal (polygonal ferrite/pearlite) and its girth weld (acicular ferrite/pearlite) was measured with a novel slow strain rate tensile (SSRT) test in which hollow pipe-like specimens were internally pressurised with nitrogen and hydrogen gas from 0 to 100 bars. Results showed that exposure to H2 gas at 100 bars reduced the ductility of the base metal by up to 40% and the weld metal by 14%. Reduction in cross-sectional area (%RA) reduced by up to 28% in the base metal and 11% in the weld metal. Fracture surface analysis showed micro-void coalescence as well as quasi-cleavage fracture characteristic of HE. Susceptibility to HE was also observed in the form of secondary longitudinal and internal transverse cracks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTMS 2021 150th Annual Meeting and Exhibition Supplemental Proceedings
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-65261-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-65260-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event150th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, TMS 2021 - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: 15 Mar 202118 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameMinerals, Metals and Materials Series
ISSN (Print)2367-1181
ISSN (Electronic)2367-1696


Conference150th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, TMS 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Fractography
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • In situ testing
  • Pipeline steel

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