Hydrogen drastically embrittles high-strength aluminum alloys, which impedes efforts to develop ultrastrong components in the aerospace and transportation industries. Understanding and utilizing the interaction of hydrogen with core strengthening elements in aluminum alloys, particularly nanoprecipitates, are critical to break this bottleneck. Herein, we show that hydrogen embrittlement of aluminum alloys can be largely suppressed by switching nanoprecipitates from the η phase to the T phase without changing the overall chemical composition. The T phase strongly traps hydrogen and resists hydrogen-assisted crack growth, with a more than 60% reduction in the areal fractions of cracks. The T phase-induced reduction in the concentration of hydrogen at defects and interfaces, which facilitates crack growth, primarily contributes to the suppressed hydrogen embrittlement. Transforming precipitates into strong hydrogen traps is proven to be a potential mitigation strategy for hydrogen embrittlement in aluminum alloys.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)