Wed, 20 December, 2023
The latest edition of TWI’s ‘Engineering Undistilled’ podcast series delves into hydrogen research, including our history in this important area and how we are continuing to lead the discussion around hydrogen use with a range of materials.
Marketing Group Manager, Mike Emmett sat down to discuss the topic with TWI Director of Research, Dr Paul Woollin, Technology Fellow (Polymeric Materials and Ageing through Permeation Processes), Dr Bernadette Craster, and Technology Fellow (Structural Integrity of Composites and Composite Joining), Dr Chris Worrall.
Paul Woollin took the lead for this engaging discussion, explaining how TWI was influential in the creation of codes and standards for hydrogen embrittlement in metals, while at the same time pioneering industry-changing innovation within engineering critical assessments.
Our ability to bring together the latest academic knowledge to solve real-world industry challenges, has led TWI to become a globally-trusted name, offering impartial expert advice and innovation to help industry progress.
This was certainly the case in the field of hydrogen, where our work has gone on to be the benchmark for industries ranging from nuclear to shipping through to oil and gas.
Bernadette took up the discussion, revealing how TWI is working to investigate the effects of hydrogen on non-metallic materials. She reveals how there are parameters in place but these are case-specific and the challenge lies in creating a standard for hydrogen and non-metallics.
The need comes from a desire to use existing infrastructure as well as new potential assets for hydrogen distribution and storage. For non-metallics to achieve this, it is vital to understand hydrogen permeation and the impact of hydrogen on these materials. This is made increasingly complex by the variety of non-metallic materials available when compared to metals, which tend to have better defined characteristics.
Chris continued the conversation, by introducing the work TWI has been doing as part of the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC) to promote and advance the use of non-metallic materials in the oil and gas industry. His understanding of how to characterise non-metallic materials is vital to our work to understand how and why they fail. With industry demanding new materials with more complex properties, there is a constantly changing landscape for our expertise and support.
These questions all tie into the future of sustainable energy, whether through electrification, nuclear fusion or the hydrogen economy, with TWI standing at the forefront with our independent expertise, advice and support across industry.
The podcast panel also look at other industry-wide issues, such as the move from quality production to quantifiable production, including asset lifecycle predictions with the use of big data and predictive monitoring.
In addition, there were discussions around artificial intelligence, the use of simulation modelling against physical prototyping for industry, the growth and recycling of composite materials, and how to inspire the next generation of experts to enter industry and fill the skills gap that exists in joining, materials and allied technologies.
The podcast not only provides a unique insight into the work of TWI as world leaders in hydrogen research, but also touches upon the challenges faced by industry and how we are working to find solutions to these and many others.