HYDROGEN IN MATERIALS
The off-shore sector currently relies mostly on non-corrosive materials for underwater pipelines and production systems at great depths. In the late 1990s, there were several breakdowns and subsequent production stoppages in the North Sea, including on Åsgård and Draugen. This focussed attention on the problem of hydrogen in materials. Possible sources of hydrogen include hydrogen contamination in materials used for welding and hydrogen that develops in cathode protection. The hydrogen impairs the metal properties and can lead to small cracks and defects that occur, for example during welding, becoming critical. There is now considerable international focus on this problem and research scientists at SINTEF/NTNU want to gain more knowledge on the subject. SINTEF/ NTNU recently arranged a large-scale workshop about hydrogen in materials, which attracted representatives from several oil companies, material suppliers and international research institutes. SINTEF/NTNU is now working to achieve an EU project on the theme.