Frank Cheng


Frank Cheng


CIM Distinguished Lecturers

Dr. Frank Cheng is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Pipeline Engineering at the University of Calgary. He is an internationally recognized researcher in Energy Pipeline Technology, specializing in pipeline corrosion and cracking, steel metallurgy, defect assessment, and hydrogen pipelines. He is the author of 4 books and 275 journal papers. The total citations of his publications exceed 13,700, with a H-index of 71.

Dr. Cheng is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards from professional associations such as CIM, MetSoc, NACE, ASM, IOM3 and IAAM. He was named the Canadian Distinguished Materials Scientist in 2019. He is elected Fellows of NACE, IOM3, ICorr, IAAM and CSCP. He is serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Pipeline Science and Engineering. Dr. Cheng obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta in 2000.

Distinguished Lecturer 2022-23

Suitability of existing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen transport - Risk of steel pipes to hydrogen embrittlement

Lecture Abstract


Development of new energy technology at full scale is critical to achieving the 2050 net-zero target. With the lack of a wide range of infrastructure to keep the new energy economy on a rapid-development trajectory, existing pipelines provide a promising alternative for effective and economic transport of new energies (fuels) such as hydrogen.

Safety is paramount for hydrogen transport by pipelines. Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) potentially occurs to compromise the structural integrity of steel pipes. This talk starts with an introduction of the benefits that pipelines provide for development of a full-scale hydrogen economy. The technical background of the HE phenomenon will be imparted, detailing unique features of the problem occurring in high-pressure gaseous environments, along with the effects of pipe steel metallurgy and stressing conditions. Technical gaps in repurposing existing pipelines for hydrogen service will be identified, and further actions are proposed to mitigate and control the HE occurrence.

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