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Phenomenon of skin effect in metals due to hydrogen absorption


Experimental studies of the distribution of hydrogen in metal samples after a standardized saturation procedure in a neutral solution are described. It is shown that the hydrogen concentrates in a thin surface layer which plays the role of a shield for the further propagation of hydrogen. We refer to this phenomenon as a skin effect in the hydrogen saturation since the internal regions of the metal are not saturated by hydrogen. A review of similar experimental results for other standardized methods for saturation of metals with hydrogen (cathodic polarization, saturation in gaseous hydrogen) is provided, and the universal nature of the skin effect for metals is shown. The analysis of mechanisms of the skin effect is carried out by methods of continuum mechanics based on a bi-continual model of a solid. The problem of saturating a metal sample with hydrogen without external load is posed. It is shown that the model taking into account the mutual influence of hydrogen and mechanical stresses allows one to obtain solutions describing the highly non-uniform distribution of hydrogen at standardized saturation.

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The work was performed in the Institute for Problems in Mechanical Engineering and is supported solely by the Russian Science Foundation (Grant No. 18-19-00160).

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Polyanskiy, V.A., Belyaev, A.K., Alekseeva, E.L. et al. Phenomenon of skin effect in metals due to hydrogen absorption. Continuum Mech. Thermodyn. 31, 1961–1975 (2019).

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  • Hydrogen-induced cracking
  • Bi-continual model
  • Dissolved hydrogen
  • Mechanical stresses
  • Hydrogen diffusion