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Mechanical Properties and Hydrogen Embrittlement of Laser-Surface Melted AISI 430 Ferritic Stainless Steel


Hydrogen was doped in austenitic stainless steel (ASS) 316L tensile samples produced by the laser-powder bed fusion (L-PBF) technique. For this aim, an electrochemical method was conducted under a high current density of 100 mA/cm2 for three days to examine its sustainability under extreme hydrogen environments at ambient temperatures. The chemical composition of the starting powders contained a high amount of Ni, approximately 12.9 wt.%, as a strong austenite stabilizer. The tensile tests disclosed that hydrogen charging caused a minor reduction in the elongation to failure (approximately 3.5% on average) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS; approximately 2.1% on average) of the samples, using a low strain rate of 1.2 × 10−4 s−1. It was also found that an increase in the strain rate from 1.2 × 10−4 s−1 to 4.8 × 10−4 s−1 led to a reduction of approximately 3.6% on average for the elongation to failure and 1.7% on average for UTS in the pre-charged samples. No trace of martensite was detected in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the fractured samples thanks to the high Ni content, which caused a minor reduction in UTS × uniform elongation (UE) (GPa%) after the H charging. Considerable surface tearing was observed for the pre-charged sample after the tensile deformation. Additionally, some cracks were observed to be independent of the melt pool boundaries, indicating that such boundaries cannot necessarily act as a suitable area for the crack propagation.

Funding source: The present research was fully supported by the Multi-Year Research Grant (MYRG) of University of Macau [Grant number MYRG2018-00217-FST]

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