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Experimental Study of Hydrogen Embrittlement in Maraging Steels


This research activity aims at investigating the hydrogen embrittlement of Maraging steels in connection to real sudden failures of some of the suspension blades of the Virgo Project experimental apparatus. Some of them failed after 15 years of service in working conditions. Typically, in the Virgo detector, blades are loaded up to 50-60% of the material yield strength. For a deeper understanding of the failure, the relationship between hydrogen concentration and mechanical properties of the material, have been investigated with specimens prepared in order to simulate blade working conditions. A mechanical characterization of the material has been carried out by standard tensile testing in order to establish the effect of hydrogen content on the material strength. Further experimental activity was executed in order to characterize the fracture surface and to measure the hydrogen content. Finally, some of the failed blades have been analyzed in DICI-UNIPI laboratory. The experimental results show that the blades failure can be related with the hydrogen embrittlement phenomenon.

Countries: Italy

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