Effects of Hydrogen on the Corrosion Resistance of Metallic Materials and Semiconductors
For long time it is known that protons in aqueous solutions have a detrimental effect on metallic materials. Relatively recently, it has also been observed in aqueous solution that the pitting corrosion resistance of Cr, stainless steel 304 and 310 decreases and the anodic dissolution rate increases due to the presence of hydrogen in the metal. In gas phase a high oxidation rate has been observed for hydrogen containing Cr and Fe. Hydrogen in the substrate can also enhance the oxidation of Fe in SS 316 and As in GaAs. All these results suggest enhanced dissolution in aqueous solution and enhanced oxide growth at the oxide/gas interface in gas phase oxidation due to hydrogen promoted outward-transport of substrate components. A possible mechanism for such out-transport is an increased metal ion diffusivity in the metal-oxide due to a high abundance of metal ion vacancies generated by hydrogen. In contrast to all the above examples, also positive effects of hydrogen have been identified under certain conditions. In an attempt to understand both the negative and the positive effects the concept of a beneficial, balanced oxide growth is used. In this concept a certain amount of hydrogen can be beneficial in the oxidation by improving the balance between oxygen-ion and metalion transport, leading to more dense and protective oxides. Depending on the temperature, H2 in air is considered as either a sink or a source for hydrogen in materials.
Shigeji Taniguchi, Toshio Maruyama, Masayuki Yoshiba, Nobuo Otsuka and Yuuzou Kawahara
G. Hultquist et al., "Effects of Hydrogen on the Corrosion Resistance of Metallic Materials and Semiconductors", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 522-523, pp. 139-146, 2006