Hydrogen embrittlement is one of the most severe steel degradation mechanisms. Using hydrogen enhanced decohesion (HEDE) and hydrogen enhanced local plasticity (HELP), we can predict if more hydrogen atoms will accumulate into the plastic zone, enhancing the hydrogen embrittlement and the crack growth rate. In the current study, a relationship has been proposed between operations of pipeline steels and hydrogen accumulation to quantify the effects of hydrogen embrittlement. The study find that hydrogen accumulation rate is proportional to stress intensity and inversely proportional to temperature; hence, higher stress intensity and lower temperature will enhance hydrogen accumulation and crack propagation. Hydrogen potential, diffusivity, hydrostatic stress near the crack tip, and the critical loading frequency have been considered in the new model to predict crack propagation rates in pipeline steels. The predicted values are compared with experimental results of X-65 steel in two near-neutral pH solutions to verify the model. This hydrogen diffusion model helps show former neglected hazard operations such as minor cycles, and offers an easier way to optimize operations that will prolong the life of pipeline steels.

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