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Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 47 / Number 4 / Pages 861-865
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Hydrogen embrittlement behaviour of the reduced activation ferritic/martensitic steels, Eurofer'97 and VS3104, has been compared to that of the conventional alloy T91, by means of constant extension rate tests run under dynamic electrochemical charging. Charged versus uncharged reduction of specimen area ratios at rupture were taken as the most suitable ductility indexes for material discrimination in terms of hydrogen damage resistance. Fractographic analysis indicated that hydrogen content as low as 1.6 wppm caused rupture of al investigated steels, but to different degree, by promoting grain boundary decohesion. Higher hydrogen levels stimulated failure by the combined effect of bond strength weakening and stress intensification from dislocation blocking at interfaces. The better performances of T91 as well as the variability of Eurofer tensile responses were ascribed to the different chemistry and density of key microstructural factors, already suspected from metallurgical examination and further supported by hydrogen thermal extraction results.
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