Austenitic stainless steel of the 300 series and their welds are widely employed in the production, storage and distribution infrastructures of gaseous and liquid hydrogen. However, hydrogen compatibility of their welds has not been completely understood, especially in high-pressure hydrogen environment. In this study, the influence of 98MPa high pressure gaseous hydrogen on the tensile properties and fracture behaviors of three kinds of S31603 weld joints were investigated, including SMAW, SAW and TIG welds. The tensile data indicated that hydrogen caused the ductility loss of the SAW and TIG weld joints, particularly for the TIG welds. For the SMAW weld joints, hydrogen had little impact on its ductility. Fractographic analysis revealed that hydrogen scarcely induced a change in the fracture mode of the SMAW welds. Different from this, the SAW and TIG welds were found to exhibit an obvious susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement in this study, particularly for the TIG welds, based on the change of fracture features from dimples to facets, striations and secondary cracks. Additionally, both fracture surfaces of the SMAW and SAW welds contained some inclusions where the secondary cracks were promoted.

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