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Mechanical Spectroscopy Investigation of Point Defect-Driven Phenomena in a Cr Martensitic Steel


The paper presents and discusses results of mechanical spectroscopy (MS) tests carried out on a Cr martensitic steel. The study regards the following topics: (i) embrittlement induced by Cr segregation; (ii) interaction of hydrogen with C–Cr associates; (iii) nucleation of Cr carbides. The MS technique permitted characterising of the specific role played by point defects in the investigated phenomena: (i) Cr segregation depends on C–Cr associates distribution in as-quenched material, in particular, a slow cooling rate (~150 K/min) from austenitic field involves an unstable distribution, which leads to Cr concentration fluctuations after tempering at 973 K; (ii) hydrogen interacts with C–Cr associates, and the phenomenon hinders hydrogen attack (HA) because hydrogen atoms bound by C–Cr associates are not able to diffuse towards grain boundaries and dislocation where CH4 bubbles may nucleate, grow, and merge to form the typical HA cracks; (iii) C–Cr associates take part in the nucleation mechanism of Cr7C3 carbides, and specifically these carbides form by the aggregation of C–Cr associates with 1 Cr atom.

Countries: Italy

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