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Hydrogen Embrittlement In High Strength Steel Wires

852 words - 4 pages

The purpose of this report is to understand the failure of high strength steel wires due to the environment in which they are exposed to, this report will primarily be focusing high strength steel wires that are used in suspension bridge cables. Due to the environment that the bridge cables are exposed to their lifetime expectancy depends on the corrosion it undergoes. There are various types of corrosions that can occur such as pitting corrosion, stress corrosion and corrosion-induced cracking which it makes it all the more complex to understand corrosion of high strength steel wires(1). Due to the vast number of failures that can occur due to the environment this paper primarily focuses ...view middle of the document...

Diffusion of hydrogen though the lattice or incoherent precipitates can induce cleavage fracture mechanism which normally occurs across adjacent pearlite colonies, while hydrogen in grain boundaries can induce intergranular fracture mechanism (3).
In the case of bridge cables, the steel is derived from drawing the pearlitic steel, it is known to produce the highest strength steel, as high as 1770MPa (4). An increase in strength level also increases the steel susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement. High strength steel wires are manufactured by a process that involves cold drawing of eutectoid steel wire, the microstructure changes that occur during this process influence the hydrogen embrittlement process and the corrosion performance of the steels. Drawing pearlite steel is known to produce high strength steel wires hence are used to produce steel bridge cables. The interlamellar spacing within the pearlite controls the yield strength and ductility, the latter is also controlled by pearlite colony size and carbide thickness (5). Cold working causes the lamellar cementite to fragment into fine particles which then undergoes partial dissolution (6), this could be due to interaction between dislocation and carbon atoms. In cold drawing the pearlite lamellae tend to orient in the cold drawing direction which gives its’ anisotropic properties (7), this is only the case in the longitudinal cross section, in the transverse section there is a random orientation, this can be seen in figure 1 and 2, in both cases the steel underwent six phases of cold drawing.

Works Cited

1. Betti, R., West, C. A., Vermaas, G., & Cao, Y. (2005). Corrosion and Embrittlement in High-Strength...

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