Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 1091–1099 | Cite as

Metallurgical factors in stress corrosion cracking (SCC) and hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC)

  • M. ElboujdainiEmail author
  • R. W. Revie


Nonmetallic inclusions can affect resistance of steels to both general and localized corrosion, including pitting corrosion, stress corrosion cracking (SCC), and hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC). Because stress corrosion cracks frequently initiate at pits, and pits nucleate at sulfides, the presence of sulfides is likely to affect the SCC process. Nonmetallic inclusions increase susceptibility of steel to HIC, which occurs by the formation of internal hydrogen blisters or blister-like cracks at internal delaminations or at nonmetallic inclusions in low strength materials. HIC occurs when H atoms diffusing through a linepipe steel become trapped and form H2 molecules at inhomogeneities in the steel. A planar, gas-filled defect is created, which grows parallel to the pipe surface as it continues to trap more diffusing H atoms. If the defect grows sufficiently large, it may develop into a blister. HIC failure occurs if a mechanism exists for linkage of defects or blisters with the internal and external surfaces. The H atom source is normally the cathodic reaction of an acid corrosion mechanism occurring at the internal linepipe surface, i.e., the reduction of hydrogen ions, H+:\( \begin{gathered} {\text{Anodic reaction}}:{\text{ Fe }} \to {\text{ Fe}}^{{2 + }} + {\text{ 2e}}^{ - } \hfill \\ {\text{Cathodic reaction}}:{\text{ 2H}}^{ + } ~ + {\text{ 2e}}^{ - } ~ \to {\text{ 2H}}_{\text{ads}} \hfill \\ \end{gathered} \)


Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) Hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) Nonmetallic inclusions Metallurgical factors 



The authors acknowledge helpful discussions with colleagues at the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory.


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Copyright information

© Government of Canada 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory—Natural Resources CanadaOttawaCanada

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