2.25Cr-1Mo-0.25V steel, which is a high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel, has been widely used for structural material of hydrogenation reactor due to its excellent combination of mechanical properties and resistance to hydrogen embrittlement (HE). However, it still suffers serious hydrogen damage during the aggressive service environment. When sufficient hydrogen concentrates in the reactor steel, the ductility and strength of the steel will be greatly decreased. Such a phenomenon of reduction of toughness is known as HE, and it can significantly weaken the safety and reliability of equipment. Therefore, the aim of this investigation is to focus on the effect of hydrogen on fracture toughness behavior of 2.25Cr-1Mo-0.25V steel. The fracture mechanics specimens in geometry of single edge notch bending were used. The immersion charging method was used to pre-charge hydrogen inside the specimens. Moreover, the fracture toughness of specimens with and without hydrogen pre-charging were measured following the ASTM E1820 standard. Finally, the fracture morphology was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to identify the HE mechanisms. The results of the present investigation showed that the pre-charged hydrogen resulted in significant reduction of fracture toughness of 2.25Cr-1Mo-0.25V steel, indicating a reduced crack growth resistance of specimens in the presence of hydrogen. Furthermore, the uncharged specimens failed in a ductile manner, whereas the fracture of pre-charged specimens is a mixed ductile and brittle fracture mode. It was believed that the hydrogen-induced decohesion (HEDE) mechanism contributed to the HE in hydrogen pre-charged specimens.

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