To obtain a basic understanding of hydrogen embrittlement associated with ε-martensite, we investigated the tensile behavior of binary Fe-Mn alloys with high Mn content under cathodic hydrogen charging. We used Fe-20Mn, Fe-28Mn, Fe-32Mn, and Fe-40Mn alloys. The correlation between the microstructure and crack morphology was clarified through electron backscatter diffraction measurements and electron channeling contrast imaging. ε-martensite in the Fe-20Mn alloy critically deteriorated the resistance to hydrogen embrittlement owing to transformation to α′-martensite. However, when ε-martensite is stable, hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility became low, particularly in the Fe-32Mn alloys, even though the formation of ε-martensite plates assisted boundary cracking. The Fe-40Mn alloys, in which no martensite forms even after fracture, showed higher hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility compared to the Fe-32Mn alloy. Namely, in Fe-Mn binary alloys, the Mn content has an optimal value for hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility because of the following two reasons: (1) The formation of stable ε-martensite seems to have a positive effect in suppressing hydrogen-enhanced localized plasticity, but causes boundary cracking, and (2) an increase in Mn content stabilizes austenite, suppressing martensite-related cracking, but probably decreases the cohesive energy of grain boundaries, causing intergranular cracking. As a consequence, the optimal Mn content was 32 wt pct in the present alloys.
|Number of pages
|Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
|Published - Jun 1 2016
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Metals and Alloys