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H-Mat Hydrogen Compatibility of Polymers and Elastomers


The H2@Scale program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office is supporting work on the hydrogen compatibility of polymers to improve the durability and reliability of materials for hydrogen infrastructure. The hydrogen compatibility program (H-Mat) seeks “to address the challenges of hydrogen degradation by elucidating the mechanisms of hydrogen-materials interactions with the goal of providing science-based strategies to design materials, (micro)structures, and morphology with improved resistance to hydrogen degradation.” This research has found hydrogen and pressure interactions with model rubber-material compounds demonstrating volume change and compression-set differences in the materials. The research leverages state-of-the-art capabilities of the DOE national labs. The materials were investigated using helium-ion microscopy, which revealed significant morphological changes in the plasticizer incorporating compounds after exposure, as evidenced by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. Additional studies using transmission electron microscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance revealed that nanosized inclusions developed after gas decompression in rubber- and plasticizer-only materials; this is an indication of void formation at the nanometer level.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States

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H-Mat hydrogen compatibility of polymers and elastomers

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