Major award for Hydrogen in metals project (HEmS)

Alan Cocks, Professor of Materials Engineering at the Department, has recently been awarded a £5.5 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to investigate the process of ‘embrittlement of metals from hydrogen’. The ‘Hydrogen in metals - from fundamentals to the design of new steels’ (“HEmS”) project, led by Professor Cocks, is a collaboration with the Department of Materials at Oxford and the universities of Sheffield, Cambridge, Kings College and Imperial College London. Potential applications for the results of the research are envisaged across a wide range of key UK industries.

Professor Alan Cocks
Professor Alan Cocks
The overall aim of the HEmS project research is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the process of hydrogen embrittlement of steels, through an integration of advanced characterisation, testing and modelling techniques. For over a hundred years hydrogen has been known to cause catastrophic failure in high strength steels and it is hoped the research will help develop new alloys for ultra-high strength steels that resist embrittlement due to the presence of hydrogen.

Potential applications for the results of the research are envisaged across a wide range of key UK industries, including the automotive and energy sectors, and it is hoped the project’s results will impact directly on the fuel efficiency of the next generation of cars, and the service lifetimes of wind turbines and energy pipelines.

Further information on the project can initially be found at: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/L014742/1