Hydrogen Embrittlement Cracking Produced by Indentation Test

Living reference work entry


Indentation is a convenient method to evaluate mechanical properties of materials as well as to simulate contact fracture with locally plastic deformation. Indentation experiment has been widely used for brittle solids, including ceramics and glass, for evaluating the fracture properties. With the aid of computational framework, simulation of crack propagation (for quasi-static and dynamic impact) is conducted to characterize “brittleness” of materials. In this review, we explore the applicability of indentation method for hydrogen embrittlement cracking (HEC). HEC is an important issue in the development of hydrogen-based energy systems. Especially high-strength steels tend to suffer from HE cracking, which leads to a significant decrease in the mechanical properties of the steels, including the critical stress for crack initiation and resistance to crack propagation. For such materials integrity for HEC, convenient material testing is necessary. In this review, the first part describes new indentation methodology to evaluate threshold stress intensity factor KISCC, and the latter one is investigation into HEC morphology due to residual stress produced by indentation impression. Our findings will be useful for predicting KISCC for HE instead of conventional long-term test with fracture mechanics testing. It will also indicate the stress criterion of HE cracking from an indentation impression crater, when the formed crater (for instance due to shot peening or foreign object contact) is exposed to a hydrogen environment.


Indentation Hydrogen embrittlement cracking Fracture strength Finite element method Cohesive zone model Residual stress High-strength steel 



We would like to thank Professor Kohji Minoshima (Osaka University) for his guidance. This work is supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant No. 22760077 and 26420025) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Research Grant of Suga Weathering Technology Foundation (SWTF).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Precision MechanicsChuo UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental EngineeringColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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