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Effects of Hot Stamping and Tempering on Hydrogen Embrittlement of a Low-Carbon Boron-Alloyed Steel


The effects of hot stamping (HS) and tempering on the hydrogen embrittlement (HE) behavior of a low-carbon boron-alloyed steel were studied by using slow strain rate tensile (SSRT) tests on notched sheet specimens. It was found that an additional significant hydrogen desorption peak at round 65–80 °C appeared after hydrogen-charging, the corresponding hydrogen concentration (CHr) of the HS specimen was higher than that of the directed quenched (DQ) specimen, and subsequent low-temperature tempering gave rise to a decrease of CHr. The DQ specimen exhibited a comparatively high HE susceptibility, while tempering treatment at 100 °C could notably alleviate it by a relative decrease of ~24% at no expanse of strength and ductility. The HS specimen demonstrated much lower HE susceptibility compared with the DQ specimen, and tempering at 200 °C could further alleviate its HE susceptibility. SEM analysis of fractured SSRT surfaces revealed that the DQ specimen showed a mixed transgranular-intergranular fracture, while the HS and low-temperature tempered specimens exhibited a predominant quasi-cleavage transgranular fracture. Based on the obtained results, we propose that a modified HS process coupled with low-temperature tempering treatment is a promising and feasible approach to ensure a low HE susceptibility for high-strength automobile parts made of this type of steel.

Funding source: Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017RC024); High-level Scientific Research Foundation for the Introduction of Talent of Beijing Jiaotong University [No. M14RC00010].

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