Recent progress in realizing hydrogen society requires higher-strength steels having decent hydrogen embrittlement resistance via optimized microstructural controls. The present communication first reports the fatigue crack growth (FCG) property of pearlitic steel in a high-pressure, i.e., 90 MPa, hydrogen gas environment to probe this standard microstructure's potency for becoming a constructive reinforcing agent in future hydrogen-compatible structural materials. As-transformed eutectoid steel with 1080 MPa-tensile strength exhibited hydrogen-induced FCG acceleration to a lesser extent relative to martensite with an equivalent strength level and occasionally to pure ferritic iron. Furthermore, the superiority over martensite was augmented under slow loading-rate conditions, suppressing time-dependent cracking, a critical issue in implementing defect tolerant design on high-strength steels for hydrogen gas applications.
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