Operational Strength

Operational stability of hydrogen-loaded components and materials

bbildung: Untersuchungseinrichtung zur Durchführung von Schwingfestigkeitsuntersuchungen mit elektro-chemisch appliziertem Wasserstoff
© Fraunhofer LBF

An essential prerequisite for the future use of hydrogen is the safety of the system charged with hydrogen. This applies both to the production of hydrogen in electrolysers, its transport in tanks, and its use in mobility, for example, especially in fuel cell systems for operating vehicles on land, on water or in the air. The operationally stable design of parts and components in contact with hydrogen is of utmost importance here, taking into account costs and lightweight construction.

Within the framework of the performance center, Fraunhofer LBF therefore carries out load and stress analyses on hydrogen-loaded components, for example for drive components, pipelines or storage units, for the purpose of evaluating operational stability and service life as well as analyzing cyclic material behavior. The research activities include the investigation and evaluation of the influence of hydrogen on various metallic and polymer-based materials, taking into account operating influences such as pressure, purity and residual moisture content of the hydrogen. Stresses during operation, such as vibrations and oscillations caused by the gas flow, as well as effects of temperature, e.g. during the refueling process, are also taken into account.

Similarly, macro-, meso- and micro-level investigations are carried out, for example, on electrode materials of fuel cells or piping materials. The aim is to evaluate the load-stress-design-material-system reliability chain. On the one hand, to derive conclusions about degradation, service life of the overall system and individual components, and on the other hand, to determine optimization potential with regard to reliability and efficiency of individual components (e.g. electrolysis cells).

Within the scope of the research work of the performance center, the material and component vibration strength as well as the operational stability of transport and storage components are investigated by means of experimental and numerical investigations. One focus of the activities is the development and evaluation of materials for high stressability in order to be able to assess the influence of hydrogen embrittlement as a function of the microstructure.