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Hydrogen Embrittlement and Improved Resistance of Al Addition in Twinning-Induced Plasticity Steel: First-Principles Study


Understanding the mechanism of hydrogen embrittlement (HE) of austenitic steels and developing an effective strategy to improve resistance to HE are of great concern but challenging. In this work, first-principles studies were performed to investigate the HE mechanism and the improved resistance of Al-containing austenite to HE. Our results demonstrate that interstitial hydrogen atoms have different site preferences in Al-free and Al-containing austenites. The calculated binding energies and diffusion barriers of interstitial hydrogen atoms in Al-containing austenite are remarkably higher than those in Al-free austenite, indicating that the presence of Al is more favorable for reducing hydrogen mobility. In Al-free austenite, interstitial hydrogen atoms caused a remarkable increase in lattice compressive stress and a distinct decrease in bulk, shear, and Young’s moduli. Whereas in Al-containing austenite, the lattice compressive stress and the mechanical deterioration induced by interstitial hydrogen atoms were effectively suppressed.

Funding source: National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51571154, U1732147, 21671154), Program for Innovative Teams of Outstanding Young and Middle-aged Researchers in the Higher Education Institutions of Hubei Province (T201602).

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