Hydrogen embrittlement resistant new steel links solutions for off-shore wind turbines

Developing and testing fasteners able to withstand high stresses under harsh environmental conditions

HELIX project in a nutshell

To increase efficiency and lower production costs, the offshore wind industry is focusing on the development of larger wind generators. The HELIX project aims to provide high-strength steel fasteners for the offshore wind industry at a lower cost, more resistant to corrosion and with a wider diameter to support the ever-increasing size of wind turbines, leading to higher productivity and supporting the development of larger foundations to support above 10MW OWT and allow an easy assembly and disassembly of the whole structure.

During the project, novel high-strength steel grades and protecting zinc-flake based coatings will be developed and validated. In addition, HELIX will use advanced characterisation and traditional techniques under both atmospheric and immersion conditions to advance in the knowledge of hydrogen absorption in high-strength steels under cathodic protection and in atmospheric conditions.


A step further in the offshore wind industry

HELIX innovation will advance the state of the art in coating development and in high strength steels with high toughness and resistance to hydrogen embrittlement. Project results will contribute to better understand the interaction between steel, coating, and service environment in the hydrogen embrittlement phenomenon.

Project objectives


To optimise new lower cost high strength steel composition with improved hardenability, high toughness and high hydrogen embrittlement resistance to produce 10.9 and 12.9 steel grades after Quenching and Tempering (Q&T) treatments


To identify the mechanisms of hydrogen absorption / desorption of the optimised steels


To develop coatings based on zinc flakes and different topcoat materials to protect the steel and to reduce hydrogen entry in service


To study the interaction of the optimised steels, the novel coatings and the environment on
the hydrogen absorption quantity and mechanisms


To demonstrate the higher performance of the developed fasteners in real service


Our team

HELIX interdisciplinary team is made up of 6 partners from 5 European countries covering all the value chain, from steel, bolt and fastener manufacturer companies, research centres to universities.

From our blog

Project news & events

Celebration of HELIX 2nd General Meeting

HELIX partners have met online for the project’s 2nd General Meeting on January 20th, 2023. During the meeting, partners have reviewed the project tasks done during the first 6 months and discussed next steps and activities to provide the offshore wind industry with high-strength steel fasteners at a lower cost, more resistant to corrosion and…

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The HELIX project kicks off!

The HELIX project has kick-started on July 2022, with the aim to provide lower cost (up to 20% reduction), high corrosion resistant (a minimum of 25 service years), high strength steel (10.9 and 12.9 grades) and high diameter (≥ M64) fasteners to the offshore wind industry to support the ever-increasing size of wind turbines, leading…

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