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On the Development of a Hydrogen-Assisted Fatigue Crack Growth Model for API Pipeline Steels



Andrew J. Slifka, Ryan M. White, Chris P. Looney, Elizabeth S. Drexler, Robert L. Amaro


Hydrogen has been proposed as a potential partial solution to the need for a clean energy economy. In order to make this a reality, large-scale hydrogen transportation networks need to be engineered and installed. Steel pipelines are the most likely candidate for the required hydrogen transportation network. One historical barrier to the use of steel pipelines to transport hydrogen was a lack of experimental data and models pertaining to steels’ fatigue response in gaseous hydrogen. Extensive research at NIST has been performed in conjunction with the ASME B31.12 Hydrogen Piping and Pipeline committee to fill this need. A considerable number of fatigue crack growth tests were performed in gaseous hydrogen, and ultimately a model was created to correlate the applied loading conditions, geometry, and hydrogen pressure to the resultant hydrogen-assisted fatigue crack growth response of the steels. As a result of this extensive data set, and a generalization of the above-mentioned model, the ASME B31.12 code was modified to enable the use of higher strength steels without penalty, thereby resulting in the potential for considerable installation cost savings. This paper details the modeling effort that led to the code change.
Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology-Transactions of the ASME


fatigue, fatigue crack growth, hydrogen diffusion, hydrogen embrittlement, pipeline steel


Slifka, A. , White, R. , Looney, C. , Drexler, E. and Amaro, R. (2018), On the Development of a Hydrogen-Assisted Fatigue Crack Growth Model for API Pipeline Steels, Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology-Transactions of the ASME, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created April 5, 2018, Updated February 5, 2018