On the Change in Hydrogen Diffusion and Trapping Behaviour of Pearlitic Rail Steel at Different Stages of Production

Matthias Eichinger, Bernd Loder, Michael Tkadletz, Holger Schnideritsch, Gerald Klösch, Gregor Karl Mori

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung


To avoid hydrogen flaking in rail production, it is of crucial importance to understand the differences in hydrogen diffusion and trapping between different production steps. Therefore, as-cast unfinished material was compared with two finished rails, hot-rolled and head-hardened, using electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), electrochemical permeation, and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). A significant increase in dislocation density was in the head-hardened rail compared with the other material states. This leads to an effective hydrogen diffusion coefficient of 5.8 × 10−7 cm2/s which is lower by a factor of four than the diffusion coefficients examined in the other states. Thermal desorption spectroscopy analyses show a clear difference between unfinished and finished rail materials. While a peak in activation energy between 32 and 38 kJ/mol is present at all states, only as-cast unfinished material shows a second peak with an activation energy of 47 kJ/mol, which is related to microvoids. The results show that in the investigated material, the effect of increasing dislocation density has a stronger influence on the effective diffusion coefficient than the presence of a second active trapping site.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 23 Aug. 2023

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