Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 637–646 | Cite as

Hydrogen damage in 34CrMo4 pressure vessel steel with high tensile strength

  • Seok Jeong Yoon
  • Ho Jun Lee
  • Kee Bong YoonEmail author
  • Young Wha Ma
  • Un Bong Baek


Various efforts have been made to improve the safety of high-pressure gas cylinders for hydrogen or natural gas with high strength steel liners. Metal liners with high tensile strength have a safety concern, particularly with hydrogen gas or hydrogen generating environments. The hydrogen can permeate into the liner material, and make the material brittle, causing hydrogen damage. This study investigated resistance to hydrogen damage for two kinds of 34CrMo4 steel with different strength levels. Hydrogen was charged with the electrochemical method, and the material strength was measured by the small punch testing technique. Hydrogen concentration of the specimen was also measured for every testing condition, with various charging periods. The specimens with high tensile strength absorbed more hydrogen than the regular tensile strength specimens. The absorbed hydrogen caused internal damage of intergranular cracking and blistering. Material ductility at failure decreased, as the hydrogen concentration of the specimen increased. But the hydrogen concentration had virtually no effect on the strength of the materials with hydrogen. These results confirm that the susceptibility to hydrogen damage of the high tensile strength materials is much higher than that of the materials with regular strength. If the metal liner of a hoop-wrapped cylinder vessel of type II has high tensile strength, general corrosion at the liner surface can cause a hydrogen rich environment, and the cylinder can suffer hydrogen damage and embrittlement. Therefore, controlling the strength level under an optimal level is critical for the safety of a cylinder made with 34CrMo4 steel.


CrMo steel Electrochemical hydrogen Embrittlement Hydrogen cracking Pressure vessel Small punch test 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    ANS ANSI/CSA NGV2-2000, Basic requirements for compressed Natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel containers, CSA International, 8501E, Cleveland, OH (2000).Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    G. Bhattacharjee, S. Bhattacharya, S. Neogi and S. K. Das, CNG cylinder in a bus during gas filling–Lesson learned, Safety Sci., 48 (10) (2010) 1516–1519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    S. C. Kim, S. H. Lee and K. B. Yoon, Thermal characteristics during hydrogen fueling process of type IV cylinder, Int. J. of Hydrogen Energ., 35 (2010) 6830–6835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    O. Comond, D. Perreux, F. Thiebaud and M. Weber, Methodology to improve the lifetime of type III HP tank with a steel liner, Int. J. of Hydrogen Energ., 34 (13) (2009) 3077–3090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    B. Somerday, P. Sofronis and R. Jones, Effects of hydrogen on materials, Proceedings of the 2008 International Hydrogen Conference, ASM International (2009).Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    N. Eliaz, A. Shachar, B. Tal and D. Eliezer, Characteristics of hydrogen embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking and tempered martensite embrittlement in high-strength steels, Eng. Fail. Anal., 9 (2) (2002) 167–184.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Fractography Atlas of steel weldments, Japan Welding Society (1982).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    B. Swieczko-Zurek, S. Sobieszczyk, J. Cwiek and A. Zielinski, Evaluation of susceptibility of high-strength steels to hydrogen delayed cracking, J. Achiev. Mater. Manuf. Eng., 18 (1–2) (2006) 243–246.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    J. K. Yoon and K. B. Yoon, Suggestions for safety improvement of CNG bus based on accident and failure analysis, J. Korean Inst. Gas (KIGAS), 12 (2) (2008) 69–76.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    K. B. Yoon, Failure analysis of high pressure vessel of type II for CNG bus, 5th International Conference on Engineering Failure Analysis, July 1-4 (2012).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    K. Murakami, N. Yabe, H. Suzuki, K. Takai, Y. Hagihara and Y. Wada, Substitution of high-pressure charge by electrolysis charge and hydrogen environment embrittlement susceptibilities for Inconel 625 and SUS 316L, 2006 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference, PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93397 (2006) 1–8.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    H. U. Seo, Y. W. Ma and K. B. Yoon, Evaluation of hydrogen embrittlement behavior in Inconel alloy 617 by small punch test, Trans. Korean Hydrogen and New Energy Society, 21 (4) (2010) 340–345.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    D. J. Brookfield, W. Li, B. Rodgers, J. E. Mottershead, T. K. Hellen, J. Jarvis, R. Lohr, R. Howard-Hildige, A. Carlton and M. Whelan, Material properties from small specimens using the punch and bulge test, J. Strain Anal. Eng., 34 (6) (1999) 423–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Y. W. Ma and K. B. Yoon, Assessment of tensile strength using small punch test for transversely isotropic aluminum 2024 alloy produced by equal channel angular pressing, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 527 (16–17) (2010) 3630–3638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Y. W. Ma, J. W. Choi and K. B. Yoon, Change of anisotropic tensile strength due to amount of severe plastic deformation in Aluminum 2024 Alloy, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 529 (2011) 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    X. Mao and H. Takahashi, Development of a furtherminiaturized specimen of 3 mm diameter for TEM disk small punch tests, J. Nucl. Mater., 150 (1) (1987) 42–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    J. D. Parker and J. D. James, Developments in a progressingtechnology, ASME PVP, 279 (1994) 167–172.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Y. W. Ma and K. B. Yoon, Assessment of power law creep constants of Gr91 steel using small punch creep tests, Fatigue Fract. Eng. M, 32 (12) (2009) 951–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    ASTM Standard E8M-11, Standard test methods for tension testing of metallic materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA (2011) Doi: 10.1520/E0008-E0008M-11.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    M. P. Manahan, A. S. Argon and O. K. Harling, The development of a miniaturized disk bend test for the determination of post-irradiation mechanical properties, J. Nucl. Mater., 103–104 (1981) 1545–1550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    NACE Standard TM0177-2005, Standard test method: Laboratory testing of metals for resistance to sulfide stress cracking and stress corrosion cracking in H2S environments, NACE Int., Houston, TX (2005).Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    S. Dey, A. M. Mandhyan, S. K. Sondhi and I. Chattoraj, Hydrogen entry into pipeline steel under freely corroding conditions in two corroding media, Corros Sci., 48 (9) (2006) 2676–2688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    N. N. Tun, H. S. Yang, J. M. Yu and K. B. Yoon, Creep crack growth analysis using Ct-parameter for internal circumferential and external axial surface cracks in a pressurized cylinder, J. Mech. Sci. Technol., 30 (12) (2016) 5447–5458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seok Jeong Yoon
    • 1
  • Ho Jun Lee
    • 1
  • Kee Bong Yoon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Young Wha Ma
    • 2
  • Un Bong Baek
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringChung Ang UniversityDongjak, SeoulKorea
  2. 2.R&D Institute, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co.ChangwonKorea
  3. 3.Center for Energy Materials MetrologyKorea Research Institute of Standards and ScienceDaejeonKorea

Personalised recommendations