The hydrogen distribution in a hydrogen-charged Fe-18Mn-1.2C (wt%) twinning-induced plasticity austenitic steel was studied by Scanning Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (SKPFM). We observed that 1-2 days after the hydrogen-charging, hydrogen showed a higher activity at twin boundaries than inside the matrix. This result indicates that hydrogen at the twin boundaries is diffusible at room temperature, although the twin boundaries act as deeper trap sites compared to typical diffusible hydrogen trap sites such as dislocations. After about 2 weeks the hydrogen activity in the twin boundaries dropped and was indistinguishable from that in the matrix. These SKPFM results were supported by thermal desorption spectrometry and scanning electron microscopic observations of deformation-induced surface cracking parallel to deformation twin boundaries. With this joint approach, two main challenges in the field of hydrogen embrittlement research can be overcome, namely, the detection of hydrogen with high local and chemical sensitivity and the microstructure-dependent and spatially resolved observation of the kinetics of hydrogen desorption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry