October 24, 2020

Hydrogen embrittlement creates complications for clean energy storage, transportation

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IMAGE: Hydrogen can cause brittleness in several metals including ferritic steel, but recent advancements provide insight into the embrittlement process.

a) The arrowhead-shaped delaminations in stainless steel reveal cracks with significantly higher…
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Credit: O. Sobol, G. Holzlechner, G. Nolze, T. Wirth, D. Eliezer, T. Boellinghaus, and W.E.S. Unger

WASHINGTON, October 6, 2020 — As the global energy market shifts from coal, petroleum fuel, and natural gas to more environmentally friendly primary energy sources, hydrogen is becoming a crucial pillar in the clean energy movement. Developing safe and cost-effective storage and transportation methods for hydrogen is essential but complicated given the interaction of hydrogen with structural materials.

Hydrogen can cause brittleness in several metals including ferritic steel — a type of steel used in structural components of buildings, automobile gears and axles, and industrial equipment. Recent advancements in experimental tools and multiscale modeling are starting to provide insight

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