Fatigue crack growth rate (da/dN) versus stress intensity factor range (ΔK) relationships were measured for various grades of pipeline steel along with their respective welds in high pressure hydrogen. Tests were conducted in both 21 MPa hydrogen gas and a reference environment (e.g. air) at room temperature. Girth welds fabricated by arc welding and friction stir welding processes were examined in X65 and X52 pipeline grades, respectively. Results showed accelerated fatigue crack growth rates for all tests in hydrogen as compared to tests in air. Modestly higher hydrogen-assisted crack growth rates were observed in the welds as compared to their respective base metals. The arc weld and friction stir weld exhibited similar fatigue crack growth behavior suggesting similar sensitivity to hydrogen. A detailed study of microstructure and fractography was performed to identify relationships between microstructure constituents and hydrogen accelerated fatigue crack growth.

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