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Metallurgical and Hydrogen Effects on the Small Punch Tested Mechanical Properties of PH-13-8Mo Stainless Steel


PH13-8Mo is a precipitation hardened martensitic stainless steel, known for its high strength but also for its high sensitivity to hydrogen embrittlement. Small punch test, SPT (also referred to as the ball punch test, BPT), is a relatively simple and new technique to assess the mechanical properties of samples under biaxial loading conditions. The current study utilizes the unique loading conditions of SPT to investigate the mechanical behavior and fracture prior to and after the hydrogen charging of PH13-8Mo steel. The mechanical characteristics were investigated at different metallurgical conditions: solution and quenched (SQ); fully-aged (550 °C for 4 h) and over-aged (600 °C for 4 h). Samples were cathodically hydrogen charged in a 1 M H2SO4 solution containing NaAsO2 (0.125 mg/L) at 50 mA/cm2 for different durations of 0.5 h, 2 h, and 19 h, and compared to the as-heat-treated condition. A fractographic examination was performed following the SPT measurements by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were used as complementary characterization tools. It is shown that upon hydrogen charging, the SPT fracture mode changes from ductile to completely brittle with a transition of mixed mode cracking also affecting the SPT load-displacement curve.

Funding source: Israel Science Foundation (ISF), Individual Research Grant No. 455/16, for the financial support.
Countries: Israel

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