Influence of sample geometry and microstructure on the hydrogen induced cracking characteristics under uniaxial load

A. Laureys, T. Depover, R. Petrov, K. Verbeken*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    The present work evaluates hydrogen induced cracking in a TRIP (transformation induced plasticity) assisted steel and pure iron. The goal of this work is to understand the effect of the macroscopic stress distribution in the material on the hydrogen induced cracking phenomenon. Additionally, the effect of a complex multiphase microstructure on the characteristics of hydrogen induced cracking was investigated by comparing results for TRIP-assisted steel and pure iron as reference material. Tensile tests on notched and unnotched samples combined with in-situ electrochemical hydrogen charging were conducted. Tests were performed until the tensile strength was reached and until fracture. The resulting hydrogen induced cracks were studied by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Hydrogen induced cracks showed a typical S-shape and crack propagation was mainly transgranular, independently of the presence of a notch or the material's microstructure. This was also the case for the V-shaped secondary crack network and resulting stepped crack morphology characteristic for hydrogen induced damage. These observations indicate that the stress state surrounding the crack tip has a very large impact on the hydrogen induced cracking characteristics. The use of a notch or the presence of a different microstructure did not influence the overall hydrogen induced cracking features, but did change the kinetics of the hydrogen induced cracking process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)88-95
    JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructures and Processing
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Electron microscopy
    • Hydrogen induced cracking
    • Notch
    • Pure iron
    • TRIP-assisted steel


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