This study presents some measurements of the effective hydrogen diffusivity in a cold-rolled, Type-304 stainless steel. Steel plates rolled under various cold working (CW) ratios were prepared. Disk specimens, referred to as LT and SL specimens, were sampled from the plates to determine the diffusivity. The rolling direction is perpendicular to the thickness direction for LT specimens and parallel for the SL specimens. Fraction and distribution of α′ phase islands resulting from strain-induced martensite were characterized by electromagnetic induction (EMI) method and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis, respectively. The diffusivity of the LT and SL specimens exposed to high-pressure hydrogen gas was determined experimentally through desorption methods. Hydrogen permeation tests for LT and SL specimens were simulated using the finite element method (FEM) by considering a model material containing an inhomogeneous distribution of α′ phase islands. The EMI measurements established that the fraction of the α′ phase increases with the CW ratio. The phase maps from the EBSD analysis revealed an important difference in α′ phase distribution on planes perpendicular and parallel to the rolling direction (LT and SL planes). For CW = 60%, the diffusivity of the SL specimen was five times larger as compared to the LT specimen, although the fraction of the α′ phase is equal. The simulation of the permeation tests also showed a strong difference in the diffusivity between both specimens, and therefore supports the experimental results. Both experiments and simulations suggested that the anisotropic nature of the effective hydrogen diffusivity (in LT and SL specimens) could be attributed to the inhomogeneous distribution of the α′ phase islands in the cold-rolled material.

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