Influence of Thermal Oxide Layers on the Hydrogen Transport through the Surface of SAE 1010 Steel

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Most research on the hydrogen embrittlement of steel dealt with the interaction of hydrogen with the metal bulk microstructural features, whereas the first contact with hydrogen-containing environments occurs at the metal surface. Steel (when un-polarized) is always covered with an oxide layer, varying in composition and thickness. The impact of the oxide layer on the hydrogen transport is, however, not fully understood. This study focused on the effect of controlled pre-formed thermal oxide layers at the exit side on the hydrogen transport through the surface of SEA 1010 steel, considering two distinct thermally produced oxide types as test cases. Results demonstrated that thermal oxides can greatly limit hydrogen diffusion, with bilayers (hematite/magnetite) having a greater effect compared to magnetite layers. Increased oxide thickness resulted also in greater limiting diffusion. The main objective of this manuscript is to provide experimental evidence concerning the effect of oxide layers on the hydrogen transport through steel. Model thermal oxide layers were used to emphasize the importance of considering the surface characteristics when investigating hydrogen transport through metallic components.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111503
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge AVN (Association Vinçotte Nuclear) for the financial support of this PhD project. Furthermore, the authors acknowledge support from FWO (senior postdoctoral fellow grant 12ZO420N). The authors would also like to thank Bart Lippens for polishing the specimens and Nils Van Den Steen for his assistance regarding the raw SKPFM data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published on behalf of The Electrochemical Society by IOP Publishing Limited.

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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