Screw-thread steel bars made of high strength steel fractured after exposure to a constant pre-stress of 650 MPa for more than 10 h. Visual examination, chemical analysis, mechanical tests, metallographic analysis, and fractographic examination were carried out in order to determine the causes of this failure. The fracture surfaces consisted of three regions: the crack source or fracture origin region, steady-state crack growth, and unstable or final fracture region. The crack initiated at the center of the cross section and then propagated to the periphery. The fracture exhibited a brittle appearance, accompanied with secondary cracks, tear ridges, and micropores on the grain boundary. The results revealed that this failure was due to hydrogen embrittlement of the steel.
Hydrogen embrittlement Intergranular fracture High strength steel
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