A statistical, physical-based, micro-mechanical model of hydrogen-induced intergranular fracture in steel

P. Novak, R. Yuan, B. P. Somerday, Petros Athanasios Sofronis, R. O. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

189 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intergranular cracking associated with hydrogen embrittlement represents a particularly severe degradation mechanism in metallic structures which can lead to sudden and unexpected catastrophic fractures. As a basis for a strategy for the prognosis of such failures, here we present a comprehensive physical-based statistical micro-mechanical model of such embrittlement which we use to quantitatively predict the degradation in fracture strength of a high-strength steel with increasing hydrogen concentration, with the predictions verified by experiment. The mechanistic role of dissolved hydrogen is identified by the transition to a locally stress-controlled fracture, which is modeled as being initiated by a dislocation pile-up against a grain-boundary carbide which in turn leads to interface decohesion and intergranular fracture. Akin to cleavage fracture in steel, the "strength" of these carbides is modeled using weakest-link statistics. We associate the dominant role of hydrogen with trapping at dislocations; this trapped hydrogen reduces the stress that impedes dislocation motion and also lowers the reversible work of decohesion at the tip of dislocation pile-up at the carbide/matrix interface. Mechanistically, the model advocates the synergistic action of both the hydrogen-enhanced local plasticity and decohesion mechanisms in dictating failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-226
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

steels
Hydrogen
Steel
carbides
Carbides
hydrogen
piles
Piles
degradation
hydrogen embrittlement
Degradation
embrittlement
Hydrogen embrittlement
high strength steels
prognosis
Embrittlement
fracture strength
Dislocations (crystals)
High strength steel
plastic properties

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

A statistical, physical-based, micro-mechanical model of hydrogen-induced intergranular fracture in steel. / Novak, P.; Yuan, R.; Somerday, B. P.; Sofronis, Petros Athanasios; Ritchie, R. O.

In: Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Vol. 58, No. 2, 01.02.2010, p. 206-226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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