Hydrogen Assisted Cracking Studies of a 12% Chromium Martensitic Stainless Steel—Influence of Hardness, Stress and Environment

  • D. A. HornerEmail author
  • M. Lowden
  • P. Nevitt
  • G. Quirk
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Martensitic stainless steels, in general, become more susceptible to Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC), specifically Hydrogen Assisted Cracking (HAC), with increasing tensile strength (as reflected by increasing hardness). The aim of this test programme was to determine the susceptibility to HAC of a 12% chromium stainless steel as a function of material hardness, stress and environment. Incremental Step Loading (ISL) tests demonstrate a reduction in failure stress with increasing hardness due to the presence of hydrogen. Relationships between failure stress and hardness/tempering temperature are described. Testing also clearly supports the concept that there is a critical value of nominal stress, at each tempering temperature/hardness, below which HAC does not occur. Constant displacement testing results show that susceptibility to HAC is dependent upon a complex interplay between microstructure (tempering temperature/hardness), stress and environment (availability of hydrogen).


12% chromium martensitic stainless steel Hydrogen assisted cracking Incremental step loading test 


  1. 1.
    B.F. Brown. Stress Corrosion Cracking Control Measures. US National Bureau of Standards, p. 156 (1977)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. Spaehn. Environment Induced Cracking of Metals, in ed. R.P. Gangloff, M.B. Ives, (NACE, Houston, TX, 1990), p. 449Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J.E. Truman, Stress corrosion cracking of martensitic and ferritic stainless steels. Int. Met. Rev. 26, 301 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.J. Schmitt, E.H. Phelps, Corrosion performance of constructional steels in marine applications. J. Met. 22(3), 47–55 (1970)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    H. Suss, Untempered martensite affects corrosion of type 410 stainless. Met. Prog. 82(5), 89 (1962)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. Warren, Hydrogen effects on steel. Mater. Perform. 26, 38 (1987)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    ASTM Standard F1624-12, 2012. Standard Test Method for Measurement of Hydrogen Embrittlement Threshold in Steel by the Incremental Step Loading Technique. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA (2012). doi:
  8. 8.
    J.E. Trueman. Corrosion resistance of 13% chromium steels as influenced by tempering treatments. Br. Corros. J. 11(2) (1976)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rolls-RoyceRaynesway, DerbyUK
  2. 2.National Nuclear LaboratoryWarringtonUK
  3. 3.Amec Foster WheelerWarringtonUK

Personalised recommendations