Activities & Expertise

hydrogen interactions

Long term energy requirements, combined with the changing climate highlight the importance of developing non-fossil fuels. Although the “hydrogen economy” is not yet a fact, significant efforts are being made to design steel grades that  can be used to safely generate, store and transport hydrogen. However, to develop new materials with the necessary resistance to hydrogen, it’s crucial to understand the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement and the interactions with microstructure.

OCAS has a dedicated hydrogen lab to study the fundamental mechanisms related to hydrogen embrittlement, and test set-ups for both hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) and sulphide stress corrosion cracking (SSCC), as well as disk rupture test equipment using gaseous hydrogen at high pressures. A lot of competence has been developed over these past few years in terms of methodology, knowledge building, modelling and understanding the hydrogen embrittlement phenomenon.

Being involved in various projects on the effects of hydrogen on steel – from internal development projects and technical services to funded knowledge building projects with various European research institutes – OCAS took the initiative to organise the very first conference dedicated to steel and hydrogen in Europe. After the successful SteelyHydrogen2011 Conference, the scope was broadened and the attendance at the second and third SteelyHydrogen2014 and SteelyHydrogen2018 conferences, again organised by OCAS, confirmed that hydrogen is considered a crucial topic for developments in the steel and other alloys in the next decade. OCAS is pleased to announce that we are currently preparing the 4th edition of SteelyHydrogen2021 .