Interaction of hydrogen transport and material elastoplasticity in pipeline steels

Mohsen Dadfarnia, Brian P. Somerday, Petros Sofronis, Ian M. Robertson, Douglas Stalheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The technology of large scale hydrogen transmission from central production facilities to refueling stations and stationary power sites is at present undeveloped. Among the problems that confront the implementation of this technology is the deleterious effect of hydrogen on structural material properties, in particular, at gas pressures of the order of 15 MPa, which are the suggested magnitudes by economic studies for efficient transport. In order to understand the hydrogen embrittlement conditions of the pipeline materials, we simulate hydrogen diffusion through the surfaces of an axial crack on the internal wall of a vessel coupled with material deformation under plane strain small scale yielding conditions. The calculation of the hydrogen accumulation ahead of the crack tip accounts for stress-driven transient diffusion of hydrogen and trapping at microstructural defects whose density evolves dynamically with deformation. The results are analyzed to correlate for a given material system the time after which hydrogen transport takes place under steady state conditions with the level of load in terms of the applied stress intensity factor at the crack tip and the size of the domain used for the simulation of the diffusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041404
JournalJournal of Pressure Vessel Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Diffusion
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Low- or medium-strength steels
  • Pipeline
  • Plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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