Espace Presse – Cetim and CEA join forces to increase French industrial supply in hydrogen

Two partners, several forces

The mechanical industry intervenes at all stages of the “Hydrogen” value chain. However, in order to ensure its production, distribution and use in several applications, it is necessary to adapt the products and in particular the fluid equipment; pipes, tanks, compressors, pumps, regulators, tanks of all sizes, of all materials and for all environments. That is why, at the request of manufacturers in the sector, Cetim is in particular purchasing a materials engineering and testing center, HyMEET (Hydrogen Material and Equipment Engineering and Testing Center), which is the first element of an ambitious plan to be rolled out over the next four years. The aim is to provide French mechanics with the means and skills to ensure technological mastery of the changes imposed by the use of hydrogen in its gaseous and liquid forms.

The influence of hydrogen on the mechanical strength of steel, even though it has been known for more than a century, has not yet been mastered either in terms of mechanisms or in a quantitative and predictable way. In order to improve these aspects, CEA has developed skills within a specific platform using dedicated experimental resources (mechanical tests under high hydrogen pressure, hydrogen penetration, bursting of slices / pipes, etc.) associated with means for microstructural characterization, hydrogen dosing in materials and modeling. Because of these skills, CEA has developed expertise for more than 15 years through institutional and industrial projects and collaborates both nationally and internationally.

H2-material interactions: a necessary complementarity between the two actors

By combining these many years of experience in the hydrogen and materials teams at CEA with Cetim’s large test capacity, the alliance proposes to offer solutions for detailed study of the behavior of materials in the presence of hydrogen, whether metallic polymers or composites.

Their characterization in a hydrogen environment via dedicated protocols will be one of the cornerstones of this beginning of the collaboration, whether it be the behavior of alloys, joints or welds. These data are essential to ensure the durability and reliability of hydrogen-powered components and systems.

At the same time, the two parties plan to launch a digital component to facilitate the understanding of the mechanisms of diffusion and exposure in materials. When degrading the mechanical properties of materials exposed to this type of environment, several parameters must be taken into account. Whether metallurgical, physico-chemical, electrochemical, etc., one therefore encounters many difficulties associated with predicting and preventing damage and makes it very difficult to identify critical parameters without this innovative approach linking digital tools and the development of dedicated benches. .

By combining our cutting-edge expertise in materials and sealing, we are paving the way for the development of a French sector for the production of hydrogen components and systems that is essential to complete the value chain around the development of electrolysers and fuel cells.

Daniel Richet, CEO of Cetim

Together, our two organizations are expanding their joint mission to support the competitiveness of French industry. Through the unprecedented offer thus created, we have found a way to accelerate and more quickly implement the future tests and trials necessary for the establishment of a sector in the heart of pure mobility with long autonomy and the development of low-carbon industries .

François Legalland, Director of CEA-Liten

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