M4C3 Precipitation in Fe-C-Mo-V Steels and Relationship to Hydrogen Trapping

S. Yamasaki and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


Strong steels suffer from embrittlement due to dissolved hydrogen, a phenomenon which can be mitigated by trapping the hydrogen at carbide particles, where it is rendered benign. The precipitation and coarsening of plate-like M4C3 carbides during the tempering of quaternary Fe-C-Mo-V martensitic steels has been characterised both experimentally and by developing appropriate kinetic theory. The trapping--capacity is found to peak when the carbides are about 10 nm in length, indicating a role of coherency strains in trapping hydrogen atoms via elastic interactions. This suggests a method for developing alloys which are better able to resist the detrimental effects of hydrogen.

Proceedings of the Royal Society A 462 (2006) 2315-2330.

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A short audio interview of Harry Bhadeshia by Mathew Peet on the content of the paper.

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