Tensile tests in air with hydrogen pre-charged smooth specimens and slow strain rate tests with smooth and notched specimens in hydrogenated high-temperature water (HTW) at elevated temperatures (250−288 °C) on low-alloy reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels revealed a softening in strength and a pronounced reduction in ductility, where the magnitude of hydrogen embrittlement (HE) increased with the dynamic strain ageing (DSA) susceptibility of the RPV steels. In hydrogen pre-charged specimens and in hydrogenated HTW, shear dominated transgranular fracture by microvoid coalescence with increasing amounts of macrovoids, quasi-cleavage regions and secondary cracking were observed. Thermal desorption spectroscopy showed an increase in the concentration of trapped hydrogen in high binding energy traps (vacancies & voids) induced by straining in DSA regime. The observed hydrogen effects on fracture behaviour is a consequence of plasticity localization resulting from the interaction between DSA and hydrogen. HESIV and HELP are the dominant HE mechanisms.
- Dynamic strain ageing
- Hydrogen embrittlement
- Low-alloy steel
- Reactor pressure vessel
- Thermal desorption spectroscopy