RP3.1-03: Future proofing plastic pipes

Executive Summary

This project develops more certainty with respect to the transport of hydrogen within the Australian gas pipeline network. This is achieved by investigating the interactions of hydrogen with current network materials and standard industry processes in repairing and expanding the plastic pipe network.

Specifically, the project focuses on the impact of hydrogen and its blends on the polymers utilised in the pipelines as well as the elastomeric materials utilised in a variety of different applications such as gaskets, O-rings, valves. The project also considers the potential for interaction of hydrogen and its blends with defects, stress concentrations and degraded material through industry processes including squeeze-off and fusion welding.

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Commencement / End Date February 2019 to October 2023
Outcomes / Impact

The incorporation of hydrogen into methane is currently underway in a number of industry led projects. This projects helps gas distribution network operators toward repurposing their distribution assests by:

  • Providing new knowledge with respect to the suitability of the current plastic pipe materials for transporting hydrogen and hydrogen-natural gas blends, particularly when damaged either via the presence of a stress concentrators or environmental degradation. The quantification of these effects will inform industry decision making around asset management and safe operation; and
  • Informing industry standards and guidelines for design and operation of hydrogen pipeline distribution systems.
Partners Deakin University, University of Wollongong, APA Group, Jemena, WorleyParsons, OSD, AusNet Services and independent advisors
Research Contact

Douglas Proud

Research & Utilisation Program Coordinator