Fatigue Crack Growth Characteristics and Effects of Testing Frequency on Fatigue Crack Growth Rate in a Hydrogen Gas Environment in a Few Alloys
In order to investigate the hydrogen effect on fatigue crack growth (FCG) behavior in a few kinds of practical alloys; austenitic stainless steels (solution-treated metastable type 304 and stable type 316L), an aluminum alloy (age-hardened 6061) and a low carbon steel (annealed 0.13%C-Fe), FCG tests were carried out in hydrogen gas and in nitrogen gas. The FCG rates of these materials are enhanced by hydrogen, though the acceleration degrees are different. A crack grows across grains by slip-off in 316L stainless steel and in age-hardened 6061 aluminum alloys even in hydrogen. Faceted area increases in 304 stainless steel and in low carbon steel in hydrogen. In 304 stainless steel, the ratio of facets to the entire fracture surface was not so large. Thus, the FCG rate is not significantly affected through the facets in 304 stainless steel. In low carbon steel, facets were increased considerably, though a crack grows step by step or after a large number of loading cycles even along grain boundaries. Anyhow hydrogen enhances the FCG rate of these materials through the influence on slip behavior. Based on above-mentioned results, the effect of loading frequency on FCG rate in hydrogen of the age-hardened 6061 aluminum alloy was also investigated. The FCG rate increases as the testing frequency decreases, though the FCG rate in hydrogen shows the tendency to saturate.
K. Kawamoto et al., "Fatigue Crack Growth Characteristics and Effects of Testing Frequency on Fatigue Crack Growth Rate in a Hydrogen Gas Environment in a Few Alloys", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 567-568, pp. 329-332, 2008