A carbon-stabilized austenitic steel with lower hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility

Heena Khanchandani, Stefan Zeiler, Lucas Strobel, Mathias Göken, Peter Felfer

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung


High-strength steels are susceptible to H-induced failure, which is typically caused by the presence of diffusible H in the microstructure. The diffusivity of H in austenitic steels with face-centered cubic (fcc) crystal structure is slow. The austenitic steels are hence preferred for applications in the hydrogen-containing atmospheres. However, the fcc structure of austenitic steels is often stabilized by the addition of Ni, Mn, or N, which are relatively expensive alloying elements to use. Austenite can kinetically also be stabilized using C. Herein, an approach is applied to a commercial cold work tool steel, where C is used to fully stabilize the fcc phase. This results in a microstructure consisting of only austenite and M 7C 3 carbide. An exposure to H by cathodic hydrogen charging exhibits no significant influence on the strength and ductility of the C-stabilized austenitic steel. While this material is only a prototype based on an existing alloy of different purposes, it shows the potential for low-cost H-resistant steels based on C-stabilized austenite.

FachzeitschriftSteel research international
Frühes Online-Datum13 Okt. 2023
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Feb. 2024

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
H.K. and P.F. acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 805065). The research of S.Z. received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 949626). The authors would like to thank Dr. Christopher Zenk for Thermocalc calculations of the phase fractions. The authors also thank Andreas Kirchmayer and Jan‐Oliver Hücking for helping with the measurements of H content in our specimens.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Steel Research International published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

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