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Guidelines for Testing Thermoplastic Materials’ Compatibility for High Pressure Hydrogen Service

Guidelines for Testing Thermoplastic Materials’ Compatibility for High Pressure Hydrogen Service

Status: Proposal
Date Announced: October, 2023
Project reference: PROP310365


The application of gaseous hydrogen as a mainstream energy carrier is dependent on the development of a reliable hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen infrastructure consists of production, delivery, storage, conversion and end-use application elements that employ materials ranging from metals to polymers. The effects of hydrogen on failure modes in metal has been an active area of research for many years. However, the effect of hydrogen on failure of polymeric components has been less widely studied. At present, there are no standards or well established testing procedures to determine the suitability of a polymer for hydrogen service. This proposal is for studies that build on the findings of TWI’s Core Research Project 34250 and will develop best practice for quantifying the effect of hydrogen on polymeric pipeline, sealing and vessel materials, over a range of service temperature, pressure, humidity and weathering conditions. This will allow industry to choose and qualify materials suitable for the intended operation. At the end of the project specific guidelines and methods for testing polymers in high pressure hydrogen applications (>70bar) will be recommended. 


  • Establish the current industrial state of the art with respect to polymer selection and qualification for hydrogen service and identify gaps.
  • Compare and contrast existing test methods, and where appropriate propose new or improved methods, including laboratory trials on the most promising methods, to benchmark their suitability.
  • Produce an agreed industry best practice guidance document, which may be shared at the Sponsor’s discretion with standardisation bodies (e.g. ISO technical committee on plastics - ISO/TC61).


  • This project will reduce the need for organisations to make their own subjective judgements regarding test methods for selecting and qualifying polymeric materials for high pressure hydrogen service.
  • Developing guidance with other companies facing similar challenges will improve the reliability of the recommendations.
  • Developed guidance may form the basis of internationally-accepted standards, which will allow the Sponsors the opportunity to shape future practice, should they so wish. 

If you are interested in finding out more, see the PDF download. If you would like to join this JIP, please contact us.