University of Cambridge

Designing steel to resist hydrogen embrittlement: Part 2 - precipitate characterisation

S. W. Ooi, T. I. Ramjaun, C. Hulme-Smith, R. Morana, M. Drakopoulos and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


A novel, low-alloy steel has been designed for use in the oil and gas industry. Its high strength and hydrogen trapping potential are derived from a martensitic microstructure containing a dispersion of fine vanadium–molybdenum alloy carbides that evolve during tempering. In this second paper, the effect of quench rate from austenitisation and tempering conditions are investigated with respect to the microstructure. The alloy loses its tempering resistance following slow-cooling from austenitisation as a result of MC precipitation, leading to vanadium depletion and significant M2C coarsening. This is predicted using computer simulation and confirmed by high energy X-ray diffraction, combined with electron microscopy.

Materials Science and Technology 34 (2018)

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Hydrogen in steels

hydrogen resistant steel

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