RP3.1-14: Elastomers and Hydrogen

Executive Summary

Elastomers are a key material class in the gas infrastructure, found a critical junction points. There are a huge number of elastomer in use as seals, o-rings, gaskets, diaphragms. The type of elastomer used can vary significantly and is often not known or classified broadly for example NBR is often given as the ‘o’ ring material used in common EF socket joins.

What is unknown is the class of NBR i.e NBR45 or NBR70 and the supplier, since each supplier has a proprietary recipe. Current industry and research reports have highlighted that elastomers may be vulnerable in a hydrogen network, showing premature failure. This is highly dependant on the elastomer and pressure used.

This project will, via a detailed testing and classification program, provide more certainty regarding the currently used elastomers in the Australian network.

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Commencement / End Date Feb 2023 to Jun 2024
Outcomes / Impact

To identify the type and (if possible) the grade of elastomers used in the network.

To test and evaluate selected elastomers with hydrogen and make recommendations for future seals used in gas network construction and maintenance.

To provide more certainty regarding residual lifecycle management of elastomers with respect to transporting hydrogen.

This will be achieved via:

  • Reports and presentations to industry regarding the suitability of current elastomers for transporting hydrogen.
  • A series of experimental data/performance indicators for elastomers with hydrogen to assist industry with planning and management.
  • A report detailing which elastomers are present in the network.
Partners Deakin University, ATCO, Jemena, APA, GPA
Research Contact

Douglas Proud

Research & Utilisation Program Coordinator