Issue 35

Y. Matsuda et alii, Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, 35 (2016) 1-10; DOI: 10.3221/IGF-ESIS.35.01 2 materials that are directly exposed to high-pressure hydrogen gas are degraded. This problem is known as hydrogen embrittlement. The effects of hydrogen on fatigue crack growth properties within the low and middle stress intensity factor ranges have been investigated. [1, 2] The findings of these studies have provided important insights that can be used to inform the design of hydrogen-related devices for a future hydrogen economy. Hydrogen pre-charging was reported to increase the fatigue crack growth acceleration rate of 0.08 mass%C ferritic–pearlitic carbon steel JIS-SGP, compared with the uncharged specimen [1]. The effect of hydrogen on fatigue crack growth rate was related to the test frequency; however, the enhancement in rate acceleration due to hydrogen reached an approximately 10 times rate, which should be an upper bound on the acceleration of fatigue crack growth by hydrogen. Another study indicated that the upper bound of fatigue crack growth acceleration in JIS-SM490B under a high-pressure hydrogen gas atmosphere is 30 times for hydrogen gas pressures less than 45 MPa [2]. These upper bounds have been used to predict fatigue life for the design of hydrogen-related devices. In addition, hydrogen was reported to have little effect on the fatigue limits of lower- hardness materials (HV ≤ 200), such as carbon steel, whereas for materials with higher hardness (HV ≥ 200), hydrogen decreased the fatigue limit by 25 % [3]. Previous review articles on the effects of internal hydrogen on fatigue properties mainly discussed low hydrogen contents. However, the fatigue data for high hydrogen contents are important for the design of hydrogen-related devices. The effects of larger amounts of hydrogen on the crack growth rate and fatigue limit have not been studied because the hydrogen contents of BCC materials precharged with hydrogen are small. According to recent studies, hydrogen diffuses to and concentrates at fatigue crack tips. Therefore, it is important to clarify the effects of larger amounts of hydrogen during the design stage of a hydrogen-related device. According to a previous study by the authors using prestrained carbon steels, hydrogen content increases with the prestrain [4]. Furthermore, for torsional prestrained JIS-S25C steel (hereafter S25C steel) specimens, it is possible to introduce a larger amount of hydrogen into carbon steel (up to 35 mass ppm) than that into the tensile prestrained material. Therefore, in this study, the effects of large amounts of hydrogen on fatigue crack growth and fatigue limit were investigated using two carbon steels (JIS-S10C and JIS-S25C steels, hereafter S10C and S25C steels). M ATERIALS AND EXPERIMENTAL METHODS he materials used in this study were ferritic–pearlitic carbon steels S10C and S25C. Tab. 1 shows the chemical compositions and Vickers hardness values (indentation force, 9.8 kN; holding time, 30 s; number of measured points, 20) of the steels. Heat treatment was conducted for 1 h at 920 °C (S10C steel) or 900 °C (S25C steel). The Vickers hardness was HV = 97.8 for S10C steel and HV = 129 for S25C steel. Fig. 1 shows the shapes and dimensions of the rotating bending fatigue test and hydrogen measurement test specimens. Fig. 2 shows the results of torsional prestrain testing. After polishing with #2000 emery paper, all specimen surfaces were finished by buffing. The specimens were then subjected to torsional prestrain testing to yield torsional prestrained specimens. The specific angles of twist (  pre ) ranged from 0 to 45.0 deg/mm for S10C steel and from 0 to 20.0 deg/mm for S25C steel. After testing, the prestrained specimens were finished by rebuffing, and small holes with diameters of 500  m and depths of 500  m were introduced into the rotating bending fatigue test specimens. C Si Mn P S HV 0.10 0.17 0.36 0.09 0.17 97.8 (a) S10C steel C Si Mn P S HV 0.22 0.20 0.39 0.010 0.018 125 (b) S25C steel Table 1 : Chemical compositions (mass %) and Vickers hardness values of the experimental steels. Rotating bending fatigue tests were conducted at room temperature in air. Cracks were observed using the replica method, and the crack lengths (2 a ) were measured. Hydrogen was charged into the virgin and torsional prestrained specimens of S10C and S25C steels using the cathodic charge method with a platinum electrode at a current density of 100 A/m 2 in an aqueous solution of H 2 SO 4 (pH 2.0) at 313 K for 24 h. Hydrogen content was previously confirmed to be saturated in T