Effect of hydrogenation on mechanical properties and tensile fracture mechanism of a high-nitrogen austenitic steel
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Austenitic stainless steels are frequently used for hydrogen applications due to their high ductility at low temperatures and lower hydrogen environment embrittlement compared to ferritic steels. We study the effect of electrochemical hydrogen saturation up to 40 h on tensile behavior and fracture mechanisms in high-nitrogen austenitic 17Cr–24Mn–1.3V–0.2C–1.3N steel. Hydrogen saturation weakly influences the characteristic of stress–strain curves, but decreases steel ductility, yield stress, and ultimate tensile stress. Hydrogenation provides a change in steel fracture peculiarities—a hydrogen-assisted thin brittle surface layer of ≈5 μm and ductile subsurface layer of 50–150 μm in width in hydrogen-saturated specimens. The subsurface layer shows ductile transgranular fracture with elongated dimples and flat facets. The central parts of fracture surfaces for hydrogenated specimens show ductile fracture mode similar to hydrogen-free state, but they include numerous secondary cracks both for central part and for transition zone between ductile central part and subsurface layer associated with highest hydrogen saturation. The possible reasons of decrease in hydrogen-associated ductility and change in fracture character are discussed.
This research was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Researches (Project No. 15-38-20056). The studies were conducted using the equipment of Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science (NANOTECH center). The authors thank Dr. A. Lunev for his technical assistance.
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Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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