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Thermoplastic Materials Compatibility for Hydrogen Service

Back to Core Research Programme 33632-2021-review-of-materials-am-and-nde-considerations-for-functionally-graded-materials 34236-2023-literature-review-on-the-potential-use-of-non-destructive-testing-techniques-for-residual-stress-measurement 34241-2023-artificial-intelligence-for-ndt-scanning-of-unknown-geometries-using-collaborative-robots 34459-2022-friction-stir-welding-of-pressure-vessel-liners-for-the-storage-and-transportation-of-hydrogen 34727-2023-techniques-for-high-temperature-ultrasonic-inspection-of-arc-welding-state-of-the-art-review 34793-2023-update-on-literature-reviews-for-wire-fed-additive-manufacturing 34847-2023-Literature-review-on-crack-length-measurement-techniques-on-environmental-fracture-toughness-tests 35268-2024-Literature-review-on-dual-sensing-applications-for-SHM-of-pipelines 32221-2020-hybrid-composite-to-metal-joining 32893-2020-mechanical-fastener-coatings-for-corrosion-protection 33557-2020-extreme-high-speed-laser-application-ehla-coatings 33557-2020-extreme-high-speed-laser-application-ehla-coatings 33557-2020-extreme-high-speed-laser-application-ehla-coatings 33557-2020-review-of-electric-vehicle-battery-joining-methods-and-testing 34250-2022-thermoplastic-materials-compatibility-for-hydrogen-service A Review of High Power, In-Vacuum and Narrow Gap Laser Welding Processes for Thick Section Welding A Review of High Productivity Additive Manufacture Using a Hybrid Laser-Arc Deposition (HLAD) Process A Review of Micro Welding with Fibre and Disc Continuous-Wave Laser Sources A Review of Residual Stress Measurement Techniques Used for Components Produced Using the Selective Laser Melting Process A Review of the Machine GTAW Ambient Temperature Temper Bead Repair Technique for Nuclear Power Plant Components A Review of Weld Repairs of Mar-M247 and Similar Alloys Applications, Modelling and Manufacturing Processes for Perforated Composites - Literature Review Butt Fusion Welding Procedures and Test Methods Used for PE Pipes Duplex Stainless Steel Welding – A Review of Current Practices Elastic Follow-Up in the Context of Fracture Assessment Flaw Sizing Techniques Using Guided Waves Flaw Sizing Techniques Using Guided Waves Flaw Sizing Techniques Using Guided Waves In-Bore Multi-Positional Laser Welding In-Process Monitoring of Arc Welding for Quality and Defect Detection Mechanical Fastening Technologies for Steel to Aluminium Joining in Automotive Manufacture Process Capability Study for Friction Stir Spot Welding (FSSW) Resistance Spot Welding with Transition Discs – A Review of Dissimilar Joining Using Transition Materials with Specific Reference to Resistance Spot Welding Review of Process Simulations for Metal Additive Manufacturing Surface Modification and Micro-Machining with Pulsed-Laser Sources Wire Fed Electron Beam Additive Manufacture – A State-of-the-Art Review

Thermoplastic Materials Compatibility for Hydrogen Service


By Ana Antelava


The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is expected to play an important role in the transition to a low carbon economy. However, to be as effective and accessible as other energy sources for daily use, it requires a reliable network for delivery, storage, and end-use operations.

There are many polymeric elements used in hydrogen infrastructure. High density polyethylenes, Nylons, polyvinylidene fluorides and polyphenylene sulphides are used as liner materials while Teflon, PEEK, acetal, PFA, Buna-N, and Viton are commonly used sealing materials in valves.

For a reliable and safe operation, it is essential to have polymeric materials that will be stable during service. The degradation of polymers during elevated temperatures and under stress is well known and studied. However, polymer degradation due to the hydrogen exposure is not widely researched.

Currently, the widespread adaptation of hydrogen is inhibited by a potential exposure incompatibility with polymeric materials at high pressures.

For a safe hydrogen economy, it is essential to analyse the effect of hydrogen in combination with environmental and operational conditions such as temperature, pressure, humidity and weathering on pipelines, sealing materials and vessels. This will enable estimation and analysis of the material’s performance and provide understanding of its compatibility with hydrogen over prolonged operational time.

The deeper understanding of material compatibility will allow the industry appropriate selection of materials, to carry out bespoke testing and qualification of materials, which will lead to improved performance, reliability, safety and cost reduction.This technical literature review provides an overview of the polymers used in hydrogen infrastructure, operating conditions in hydrogen storage and hydrogen distribution systems and it reviews the recent studies conducted on polymer materials testing for hydrogen infrastructure, highlighting the knowledge gaps. 

Key Findings

  • Review described the current state of the art in hydrogen transport, storage and service.

  • Commonly used polymeric materials in hydrogen service have been identified.

  • Operation conditions used in hydrogen service have been identified and described.

  • Polymer degradation mechanisms and factors affecting it have been described.

  • Current test methodologies for evaluation of polymeric materials performance have been presented.



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