A suitable solution for hydrogen applications

Poppe + Potthoff developed special material PPH2

Alternative drives have long since ceased to be futuristic dreams. Fuel cell and hydrogen technology offer a clean alternative to conventional drives in mobile and stationary applications. To ensure safe storage and efficient transport of the highly volatile gas within the drive system, the components in direct contact with the hydrogen must have exceptional resistance.

In conventional systems, these components are made primarily of austenitic stainless steel, which has some disadvantages: austenitic stainless steel is very expensive due to its high nickel content, among other things. Since the material has relatively low strength, the components must be designed with greater wall thicknesses for higher pressure resistance. This increases the weight, and the higher material input leads to higher component costs.

High mechanical properties

To counter these problems, Poppe + Potthoff has developed PPH2, a material specially designed for hydrogen applications. “The alloyed carbon steel has excellent mechanical properties,” the company states. These are further enhanced by the PPSH Poppe + Potthoff’s proprietary annealing treatment. Components manufactured with PPH2 can be designed with thinner walls than those made of stainless steel. “In addition to lower weight, this also leads to a reduction in material costs and thus represents another clear advantage for customers,” the statement continues. A zinc-nickel coating provides effective corrosion protection.

Poppe + Potthoff designed PPH2 to be particularly suitable for welding processes (e.g., for producing common rails) and easy to process. It can be used in conventional manufacturing processes, such as producing components for diesel engines. This saves additional costs, especially because machines and systems do not have to be converted if carbon steel has already been processed.

The material is particularly suitable for producing components for H2 distribution systems (including pipes, rails and valves) and can be used in mobile and industrial applications. As a development partner, Poppe + Potthoff already manufactures components made of PPH2 in various dimensions according to the customers’ specific requirements. PPH2 has been tested and approved by external testing laboratories following DIN EN ISO 11114. It is, therefore, also approved for use in the area of EU Regulation (EC) No.79/2009 for hydrogen applications. The new material also meets the requirements of the EIGA (European Industrial Gases Association) for pipes and transport containers for hydrogen transport.

Poppe + Potthoff has developed an OD6.35ID4 pipe for 700-bar hydrogen applications using the material. This was successfully tested according to EC79 by an independent, certified testing institute. The interface provided has a metal-sealing ball-cone connection in accordance with ISO 2974.

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