Vallourec has successfully tested and approved its dope-free solution CLEANWELL for hydrogen storage use, further increasing performance and reducing environmental impact.
Vallourec’s qualification protocol developed in 2021 included the study of VAM® 21’s behaviour to hydrogen, simulating conditions (pressure, temperature, mechanical loads) experienced during storage operations.
The first connection to be qualified was VAM® 21 9 5/8” for storage applications up to 560bar. Additional outside diameters (OD) were evaluated using a combination of physical tests and Finite Element Analysis (FEA). To provide customers with a more advanced offer, including higher running performances and minimal environmental impact, Vallourec tested the sealability in hydrogen applications of its dope-free solution CLEANWELL®.
The validated range now covers dimensions 6 5/8” to 13 5/8”, with different configurations (dope and CLEANWELL®), and will continue to expand according to the needs of our customers.
CLEANWELL® is a non-polluting, multi-functional coating which replaces both storage and running compounds and is applied directly on the surface of VAM® connections.
A thermoset lubricant applied on top of the electro-plated surface provides extreme repeatability and stability throughout make-up. Directly applied at the mill, CLEANWELL® is a zero-waste lubricant, offering an environmentally-friendly alternative to standard compounds.
CLEANWELL® is a very suitable coating for underground storage of gases: its track record of improved running performance and reduced environmental risk combined with VAM® 21’s certified tightness to hydrogen creates a comprehensive offer to ensure the integrity of future hydrogen storage wells. The VAM® 21 CLEANWELL® duo has already gained interest from operators looking to store hydrogen in salt caverns.