Stack cracking by hydrogen embrittlement in a welded pipeline steel
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Arrays of cracks, parallel to the original plate rolling direction, were produced in a X65 microalloyed steel by hydrogen embrittlement of pipeline sections containing a weldment. A region of the heat-affected zone of the weldment was shown to have a lower yield strength (“soft” zone) than the surrounding material and cracking was concentrated in this throughthickness zone to produce the effect known as stack cracking. In situ cathodic hydrogen charging of tensile specimens under load led to failure by linking the rolling-plane cracks with transverse cleavage cracks, which were often initiated at inclusions. All cracking was predominantly by cleavage and failure occurred in tension in short times by hydrogen embrittlement when the applied tensile stress was above about half the uncharged yield stress. The influence of microstructure, hydrogen pressure and tensile loading conditions on the location of stack cracks and the mode of fracture is discussed.
KeywordsMicrostructure Yield Strength Tensile Stress Rolling Direction Tensile Specimen
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