Fretting fatigue strength of SCM435H steel and SUH660 heat-resistant steel in hydrogen gas environment

M. Kubota, Y. Tanaka, Y. Kondo

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Utilisation of hydrogen is expected to be one of the solutions against the problems of exhaustion of fossil fuels and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Evaluation o the materials for hydrogen utilisation machines is required. The objectives of this study are the characterisation of fretting fatigue strength of low-alloy steel SCM435H and heat-resistant steel SUH660, and the validation of effectiveness of nitriding in hydrogen gas environment. Fretting fatigue tests were conducted up to 3 × 107 cycles. The decrease of fretting fatigue strength in hydrogen gas environment was found at the long-life region exceeding 107 cycles. The amount of the decrease of the fretting fatigue limit at 3 × 107 cycles was 11% for SCM435H and 15% for SUH660. However, at the stress level above the fretting fatigue limit in air, the finite life in hydrogen gas increased more than that in air. The cause of extension of fatigue life was the delay of start of stable crack propagation. Fretting fatigue crack, which was smaller than 200 μm in length, consumed approximately 60% of the fatigue life in hydrogen gas environment. Fretting fatigue crack was steadily propagated after the test was started in air. Observations of the fretted surface showed that the fretting wear process in hydrogen gas environment was dominated by adhesion. Tangential force coefficient was higher in hydrogen gas environment than that in air. It is considered that the adhesion has a close relation to crack initiation in hydrogen gas environment, and as a result, the failure of specimen occurred at a lower stress level comparing the fretting fatigue limit in air.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalTribo Test
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 5 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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