Chapter 7
Understanding H-Embrittlement in High-Strength Steels by ab initio Methods


A variety of concepts have been suggested to explain material failure attributed to hydrogen embrittlement. They are often based on empirical observations and can hardly be transferred to novel material systems. Using ab initio methods we can put the understanding of hydrogen embrittlement on a firm physical basis. We performed systematic investigations on the solubility and diffusion of hydrogen in austenitic steels, being important for all hydrogen-related mechanisms. We observe clear trends for the dependence of these properties on chemical composition, on magnetic and structural properties of the steels. Particularly dramatic increases of the hydrogen solubility due to vacancy formation and efficient diffusion paths along chains of Mn atoms are found. The mechanisms behind these findings allow for interesting generalizations.

  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

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