At the new Salzgitter hydrogen campus, three projects for the use of hydrogen are starting. This involves the use of hydrogen technologies in manufacturing processes, the development of steel tanks for the transport and storage of the energy source, and an innovation network to set up a hydrogen cluster for Salzgitter. Lower Saxony supports the projects with a total of 4.7 million euros from the state's structural aid program for Salzgitter.
Surface treatment to reduce hydrogen diffusion in steel tanks - Hydrogen tanks for mobile applications that are widespread today are made of fiber composite materials. Due to the poor ecological balance of fiber composite materials (high energy consumption in production, low recyclability), mobile hydrogen tanks made of high-strength, recyclable steels promise great market potential. A decisive hurdle for the realization is the possible hydrogen embrittlement of high-strength steels. The subproject would like to take on this challenge by striving for a specific surface design to reduce hydrogen diffusion in steel. The Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST focuses on the identification, testing and evaluation of potential surface treatments. Mechanical, physical and metallurgical properties are investigated in order to improve the surface in a targeted manner. Salzgitter Mannesmann Research particularly examines the interactions between the base material and the material surface. For this purpose, a pressure permeation chamber is set up in order to establish a test method for measuring hydrogen penetration in solids.
Planned process and schedule 2021: Selection and characterization of suitable steel materials, construction and establishment of a pressure permeation chamber for measuring hydrogen penetration in solids, development of surface treatments and modifications to protect against hydrogen embrittlement, evaluation and classification of the results relating to the manufacture of steel tanks