Hydrogen dissolved in metals as a result of internal and external hydrogen can affect the mechanical properties of the metals, principally through the interactions between hydrogen and material defects.Multiple phenomena such as hydrogen dissolution, hydrogen diffusion, hydrogen redistribution and hydrogen interactions with vacancies, dislocations, grain boundaries and other phase interfaces are involved in this process. Consequently, several hydrogen embrittlement (HE) mechanisms have been successively proposed to explain the HE phenomena, with the hydrogen-enhanced decohesion mechanism, hydrogen-enhanced localized plasticity mechanism and hydrogen-enhanced strain-induced vacancies being some of the most important. Additionally, to reduce the risk of HE for engineering structural materials in service, surface treatments and microstructural optimization of the alloys have been suggested. In this review, we report on the progress of the studies on HE in metals, with a particular focus on steels. It focuses on four aspects: (1) hydrogen diffusion behavior; (2) hydrogen characterization methods; (3) HE mechanisms; and (4) the prevention of HE. The strengths and weaknesses of the current HE mechanisms and HE prevention methods are discussed, and specific research directions for further investigation of fundamental HE mechanisms and methods for preventing HE failure are identified.
- Hydrogen diffusion
- Hydrogen embrittlement
- Hydrogen embrittlement mechanism
- Hydrogen embrittlement prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Metals and Alloys
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering