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Effect of Hydrogen on Short Crack Propagation in SA508 Grade 3 Class I Low Alloy Steel Under Cyclic Loading


The effect of hydrogen on short crack propagation under cyclic loading in SA508 Grade 3 Class I low alloy steel is investigated. This low alloy steel is used in manufacturing of pressure vessel installed in Indian nuclear power plants. During operation these pressure vessels are subjected to continuous supply of pressurized hot water at 600 K and hence are susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement. In past, research has been conducted on the effect of hydrogen embrittlement on long fatigue crack propagation in this material but, the mechanistic understanding and correlation of hydrogen embrittlement with microstructural features in the material can be understood well by studying the effect of hydrogen embrittlement on short fatigue crack propagation. Short fatigue cracks are of the order of 10 µm to 1 mm and unlike long cracks these short cracks strongly interact with the microstructural features in the material such as grain/phase boundaries. The effect of hydrogen embrittlement on short crack propagation is studied by artificial hydrogen charging of the material through electrochemical process. The single edge notch tension (SENT) specimens with an initial notch of the order of 85 to 90 µm are used to study the short crack propagation. The short cracks in hydrogen charged samples initiated from the notch at lower number of loading cycles as compared to the uncharged notched samples for the same value of applied stress range (Δσ). After initiation, the short fatigue crack in hydrogen charged samples propagated at higher rate as compared to uncharged samples. This dissimilarity in crack propagation behavior is due to the difference in the interaction of short fatigue crack with the microstructural features for a hydrogen charged and uncharged samples.

Countries: India

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