High strength steel is usually used in fabrication of hydrogen storage vessel. The fracture toughness of high strength steel will be decreased and the crack sensitivity of the structures will be increased when high strength steels are applied in hydrogen environment with high pressure. Hence, the small cracks on the surface of pressure vessel may grow rapidly then lead to rupture. Therefore, this paper makes a series of research on how to evaluate the 4130X steel hydrogen storage vessel with fracture mechanics. This study is based on the assumption that there is a semi-elliptic crack on internal surface of hydrogen storage vessel. First of all, based on linear elastic fracture mechanics, the stress intensity factors and crack tolerance of 4130X steel hydrogen storage vessel have been calculated by means of finite element method based on interaction integral theory and polynomial-approximated approach from GB/T 34019 Ultra-high pressure vessels. Then, a comparative study has been made from the results of above methods to find out the difference between them. At last, the fatigue life of a 4130X steel hydrogen storage vessel has been predicted based on linear elastic fracture mechanics and Paris formula. The calculation methods and analysis conclusion can be used to direct the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage vessel.

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