Characterization of PPS Piston and Packing Ring Materials for High-Pressure Hydrogen Applications

Alexander Pöllinger, Julia Maurer, Thomas Koch, Stefan Krenn, Bernhard Plank, Sabine Schwarz, Michael Stöger-Pollach, Eleni Siakkou, Karolina Smrczkova, Michael Schöbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The widespread adoption of renewable energy hinges on the efficient transportation of hydrogen. Reciprocating piston compressor technology in non-lubricated operation will play a key role, ensuring high flow rates and compression ratios. These systems rely on advanced high-strength sealing solutions for piston and rod packing rings utilizing advanced fiber-reinforced polymers. Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) polymer matrix composites have seen use in tribological applications and promise high mechanical strength and wear resistance. The presented work describes carbon and glass fiber-reinforced PPS matrix polymers in comparison, which are characterized by complementary methods to investigate their properties and potential for application in reciprocating compressor under non-lubricated operation. Thermo-mechanical and tribological testing was supported by microstructure analysis utilizing advanced X-ray and electron imaging techniques. New insights in micromechanical deformation behavior in regard to fiber materials, interface strength and orientation in fiber-reinforced polymers are given. Conclusions on the suitability of different PPS matrix composites for high-pressure hydrogen compression applications were obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number412
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • fiber-reinforced polymers
  • friction and wear
  • hydrogen technology
  • thermo-mechanical properties
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • visco-elastic deformation
  • X-ray imaging


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