The effect of the annealing temperature after cold rolling on hydrogen embrittlement resistance was investigated with a face-centered cubic (FCC) equiatomic CoCrFeMnNi high-entropy alloy using tensile testing under electrochemical hydrogen charging. Decreasing annealing temperature from 800 °C to 750 °C decreased grain sizes from 3.2 to 2.1 μm, and resulted in the σ phase formation. Interestingly, the specimen annealed at 800 °C, which had coarser grains, showed a lower hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility than the specimen annealed at 750 °C, although hydrogen-assisted intergranular fracture was observed in both annealing conditions. Because the interface between the FCC matrix and σ was more susceptible to hydrogen than the grain boundary, the presence of the matrix/σ interface significantly assisted hydrogen-induced mechanical degradation. In terms of intergranular cracking, crack growth occurred via small crack initiation near a larger crack tip and subsequent crack coalescence, which has been observed in various steels and FCC alloys that contained hydrogen.
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