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Hydrogen Uptake and Embrittlement of Carbon Steels in Various Environments


To avoid failures due to hydrogen embrittlement, it is important to know the amount of hydrogen absorbed by certain steel grades under service conditions. When a critical hydrogen content is reached, the material properties begin to deteriorate. The hydrogen uptake and embrittlement of three different carbon steels (API 5CT L80 Type 1, P110 and 42CrMo4) was investigated in autoclave tests with hydrogen gas (H2) at elevated pressure and in ambient pressure tests with hydrogen sulfide (H2S). H2 gas with a pressure of up to 100 bar resulted in an overall low but still detectable hydrogen absorption, which did not cause any substantial hydrogen embrittlement in specimens under a constant load of 90% of the specified minimum yield strength (SMYS). The amount of hydrogen absorbed under conditions with H2S was approximately one order of magnitude larger than under conditions with H2 gas. The high hydrogen content led to failures of the 42CrMo4 and P110 specimens.

Funding source: Austrian Federal Government’s Climate and Energy Fund,; Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), project number 855231.
Countries: Austria

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