Role of microstructure, composition and hardness in resisting hydrogen embrittlement of fastener grade steels

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The degree of hydrogen embrittlement for several fastener grade steels has been determined. While microstructural alteration resulted in some improvement in resistance to hydrogen embrittlement, the overriding factor contributing to susceptibility of the steel was strength. The degree of susceptibility of the microstructures to hydrogen embrittlement, ranked in increasing order, is as follows: fine pearlite, bainite, tempered martensite. The effects of alloying were also assessed by comparing results from different fastener grade steels with similar microstructures. In most cases, the alloy chemistry had little effect, presumably due to trap saturation associated with this testing technique. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Corrosion Science