A thermodynamic model was developed to determine the interactions of hydrogen, stress and anodic dissolution at the crack-tip during near-neutral pH stress corrosion cracking in pipelines. By analyzing the free-energy of the steel in the presence and absence of hydrogen and stress, it is demonstrated that a synergism of hydrogen and stress promotes the cracking of the steel. The enhanced hydrogen concentration in the stressed steel significantly accelerates the crack growth. The quantitative prediction of the crack growth rate in near-neutral pH environment is based on the determination of the effect of hydrogen on the anodic dissolution rate in the absence of stress, the effect of stress on the anodic dissolution rate in the absence of hydrogen, the synergistic effect of hydrogen and stress on the anodic dissolution rate at the crack-tip and the effect of the variation of hydrogen concentration on the anodic dissolution rate.

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