CONTROLLING HYDROGEN EMBRITTLEMENT IN ULTRA-HIGH STRENGTH STEELS

John R. Scully  Hakan Dogan  Daoming Li,  Richard P. Gangloff     

Anales de la Mecánica de la Fractura, nº 21 . 2004 . Pág. -
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Resumen: A Fe-13Co-11Ni-3Cr-1Mo-0.2C steel alloy, processed for ultra-high strength and fracture toughness, exhibits three distinct hydrogen trap states in a complex precipitation hardened martensitic microstructure and is susceptible to severe hydrogen embrittlement (HE) at threshold stress intensity levels as low as 20 MPa??m. The causes of HE susceptibility include very high crack-tip tensile stresses and a reservoir of diffusible hydrogen that is trapped reversibly with a binding energy, Eb, of 11.5??0.5 kJ/mol at (Fe,Cr,Mo)2C precipitates. This reversibly trapped hydrogen repartitions to interstitial sites proximate to the highly stressed crack tip and, subsequently, may retrap at martensitic lath interfaces to produce substantial local hydrogen concentrations and transgranular embrittlement. These results are pertinent to the control of HE in this modern ultra-high strength steel with a cadmium-plated coating and co-deposited hydrogen (H). Thermal Desorption Spectroscopy demonstrates that 190oC baking removes the detrimental hydrogen associated with (Fe,Cr,Mo)2C traps in both precharged but unplated steel as well as in thin porous, cadmium-plated steel. Restoration of a high fracture toughness and a ductile fracture mode correlates directly with the removal of hydrogen from (Fe,Cr,Mo)2C traps as well as other low energy trap states. However, the internal H concentration at such traps is at first intensified upon baking of cadmium-plated steel. Later H egress is retarded by the slow H diffusivity in steel and the barrier action of the cadmium plating. Hydrogen trapped at higher trap binding energy sites is not removed by 190oC baking, but cannot redistribute to the crack tip fracture process zone and does not participate in subcritical hydrogen cracking. Strategies for controlling hydrogen embrittlement are proposed based on the information generated.

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Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745 USA
Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745 USA
Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745 USA
Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745 USA