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Hydrogen re-embrittlement susceptibility of ultra high strength steels

By Douglas J. Figueroa-Gordon


300M ultra high strength steel has been widely used for over forty years as a structural material in aerospace applications where a high strength is required. These parts are generally protected from corrosion by electroplated cadmium sacrificial coatings. However, there are concerns over this coating material due to its high toxicity and alternative coatings including Zinc-14%Nickel and SermeTel®1140/962 have been considered. It is known that applying electrodeposited coatings causes atomic hydrogen to be absorbed by the steel substrate producing delayed failure by direct hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen is also absorbed when a sacrificial coating undergoes corrosion in service and this process is known as re-embrittlement. The effect of electroplated Zinc-14%Nickel and aluminium based SermeTel®1140/962 sacrificial coatings in causing hydrogen embrittlement and re-embrittlement of 300M steel have been compared to that of conventional electroplated cadmium. AerMet®100 ultra high strength steel has been also considered as alternative replacement for the conventional 300M. Hence, the hydrogen embrittlement and re-embrittlement susceptibilities of AerMet®100 were studied when coated with cadmium, Zinc-14%Nickel and SermeTel®1140/962. In addition, two alternative alloys GifloM2000 and CSS-42LTM were also taken into consideration and only the extent of hydrogen re-embrittlement was assessed when coated with cadmium and SermeTel®1140/962, respectively. Slow strain rate tests, SSRT, were carried out for plated, plated and baked as well as plated, baked and corroded tensile specimens. The time to failure values were compared using a Weibull distribution, statistical ttests and embrittlement indices. Differences in hydrogen susceptibility of the high strength steels considered might depend upon their intrinsic hydrogen transport characteristics. These properties were studied and compared in terms of hydrogen diffusivity and solubility

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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