Abstract

High strength austenite-ferrite duplex stainless steels are a potential alternative to austenitic stainless steels for components in hydrogen gas storage systems. Since these components experience cyclic loading from frequent pressurization and depressurization, the effect of hydrogen on the fatigue behavior of duplex stainless steel must be understood. To determine the influence of hydrogen on fatigue crack initiation and fatigue life of a 255 super duplex stainless steel, circumferentially notched tensile (CNT) specimens were fatigue tested in the as-received condition in air, with pre-charged internal hydrogen in air, and in the as-received condition in high pressure hydrogen gas. The direct current potential difference (DCPD) method was used to detect crack initiation so that S-N curves could be produced for both (i) cycles to crack initiation and (ii) cycles to failure. An electropolished CNT specimen was also cycled in the as-received and hydrogen pre-charged conditions but interrupted just after crack initiation. The microstructural locations of small fatigue cracks were then identified with scanning electron microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). High pressure hydrogen gas and pre-charged hydrogen decreased the fatigue life of 255 duplex stainless steel by a nearly identical amount. The effects of hydrogen on fatigue crack initiation and fatigue life of 255 duplex stainless steel are discussed and compared to austenitic stainless steels.

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