Polycrystalline material generally exhibits degradation in its mechanical properties and shows more tendency for intergranular fracture due to segregation and diffusion of hydrogen on the grain boundaries (GBs). Understanding the parameters affecting the diffusion and binding of hydrogen within GBs will allow enhancing the mechanical properties of the commercial engineering materials and developing interface dominant materials. In practice during forming processes, the coincidence site lattice (CSL) GBs are experiencing deviations from their ideal configurations. Consequently, this will change the atomic structural integrity by superposition of sub-boundary dislocation networks on the ideal CSL interfaces. For this study, the ideal ∑ 3 111 [110] GB structure and its angular deviations in BCC iron within the range of Brandon criterion will be studied comprehensively using molecular statics (MS) simulations. The clean GB energy will be quantified, followed by the GB and free surface segregation energies calculations for hydrogen atoms. Rice-Wang model will be used to assess the embrittlement impact variation over the deviation angles. The results showed that the ideal GB structure is having the greatest resistance to embrittlement prior GB hydrogen saturation, while the 3° deviated GB is showing the highest susceptibility to embrittlement. Upon saturation, the 5° deviated GB appears to have the highest resistance instead due to the lowest stability of hydrogen atoms observed in the free surfaces of its simulation cell. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are then applied to calculate hydrogen diffusivity within the ideal and deviated GB structure. It is shown that hydrogen diffusivity decreases significantly in the deviated GB models. In addition, the 5° deviated GB is representing the local minimum for diffusivity results suggesting the existence of the highest atomic disorder and excessive secondary dislocation accommodation within this interface.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.