An infrastructure of new and existing pipelines and systems will be required to carry and to deliver hydrogen as an alternative energy source under the hydrogen economy. Carbon and low alloy steels of moderate strength are currently used in hydrogen delivery systems as well as in the existing natural gas systems. It is critical to understand the material response of these standard pipeline materials when they are subjected to pressurized hydrogen environments. The methods and results from a testing program to quantify hydrogen effects on mechanical properties of carbon steel pipeline and pipeline weld materials are provided. Tensile properties of one type of steel (A106 Grade B) in base metal, welded and heat affected zone conditions were tested at room temperature in air and high pressure (10.34 MPa or 1500 psig) hydrogen. A general reduction in the materials ability to plastically deform was noted in this material when specimens were tested in hydrogen. Furthermore, the primary mode of fracture was changed from ductile rupture in air to cleavage with secondary tearing in hydrogen. The mechanical test results will be applied in future analyses to evaluate service life of the pipelines. The results are also envisioned to be part of the bases for construction codes and structural integrity demonstrations for hydrogen service pipeline and vessels.

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