Haskel kicked off the 2018 industry event lineup with the reveal of our composite barrel to completely mitigate hydrogen embrittlement, which can decrease maintenance costs and improve reliability for high-cycle pressure vessels. This can ultimately drive down the cost of hydrogen compression and fuel cell vehicles.
Our engineers' barrel technology advancement will be presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineer's (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition—the largest interdisciplinary mechanical engineering conference in the world. When accepting the paper for presentation, ASME acknowledged the significance of the Haskel engineering work and noted that the technology "addresses real needs in the pressure vessel industry and the green energy demand makes the paper very relevant today and perhaps more so in the future."
This work introduces a cost-effective method of design and construction of pressure vessels for high-cycle use in hydrogen service at pressures that eliminate the need for determining fracture mechanics properties in a hydrogen environment through costly fatigue tests.
Haskel's Senior NPD Project Engineer and the author of the technical paper, Pooya Mahmoudian, shared why this technology development is so significant for the hydrogen market.
Since you first presented your research, how has it developed?
We’ve put together viable results from case studies. The technology was first unveiled at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Energy Summit in Brussels, Belgium in January 2018. We also recently shared the developments as a presentation at the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells North America exhibition in Anaheim.
When we first started sharing the information about the barrel technology, we were talking about the method and advancements in general. Discussions were focused more on the potential impact and the engineering approach.
In the ASME presentation, though, we are showing exactly how this method eliminates any chance of hydrogen embrittlement. Because we have had time to conduct further testing and fatigue analysis on the technology, this presentation will have a more in-depth look at the fracture mechanics of the barrel structure.
However, the most important difference in this presentation is that we will provide actual proof that this method is a viable way to reduce hydrogen embrittlement. The method has been applied to a real-life situation and been put through realistic rigors. Though we will discuss the analysis, we will also be able to show real case study results.
What makes the design of this technology so innovative and significant?
These material advancements can ultimately improve reliability and decrease life-cycle costs for fuel cell technologies.
Common methods reduce hydrogen embrittlement, but with our method, elimination of hydrogen embrittlement is guaranteed. In traditional approaches to gaseous hydrogen compression, high-nickel stainless steel alloys are used. Such alloys have a lower crack growth rate which makes them safe to be in hydrogen service for a longer time.
With Haskel’s method, we can eliminate hydrogen embrittlement to reduce maintenance costs and increase product longevity for our customers.
How does this research impact high-pressure applications?
The reduction of material costs in manufacturing is an important improvement for customers, but this method will also lead to reduced hydrogen compression costs and ultimately reduced fuel cell vehicle costs. The hydrogen and fuel cells market is growing at an exponential speed and to bring such a significant advancement to the members of that market aligns perfectly with Haskel's goals.
Although hydrogen applications are the primary focus, this technology can be used with nearly any high-pressure gas application that introduces embrittlement or if a high fatigue life is required. It could hold a lot of opportunities for those working with helium as well. Whether gas or liquid, the technology remains the same for all mechanisms.
What's next for developments with this technology?
Currently we're working toward further fatigue testing on prototypes and endurance testing. We're also planning to utilize surface scanning techniques using electron microscopy during life-cycle testing. This will enable us to monitor the crack size during and after the compression service.
Haskel's hydrogen testing facility, which opened in June, is ideal for conducting various performance tests on high-pressure components.
Want to learn more about our method of mitigating hydrogen embrittlement effects? Catch Haskel's presentation at ASME's International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition, November 12, 2018. Pooya Mahmoudian will be the co-organizer of the presentation session. We hope to see you there!
The final paper of this work will be published by ASME after the presentation and registered with the Library of Congress.