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Effect of Microstructure on Crack Propagation of AISI304L Stainless Steel Pre-charged in Hydrogen

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In the present work the effect of microstructure on Fatigue crack growth (FCG) behavior of AISI304L with different hydrogen content was investigated.  The FCG tests were carried out at 10Hz, in air at room temperature, according to ASTM Standard. C (T) specimens with 2.5 mm thickness and 30 mm width were used for the tests. Specimens, with ASTM grain sizes of about 8, were charged with hydrogen by the electrolytic method at 50ºC before testing. The electrolytic solution used was 1N H2SO4 an acid solution with 0.25g/l of As2O3  oxide. Different current densities, varying between 50 and 300 mA/cm2 were used. During the  fatigue test, the length of the crack was measured with an extensometer and also optically, with  a telescope and a video camera connected to a screen. The crack growth behavior as a function of the pre-charge parameters has been analyzed and various techniques (OM, DRX, SEM) have been applied in order to analyze the micro structural transformations produced and to relate   them with the crack growth behavior.
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AISI304L Stainless Steel; Fatigue Crack Growth; Hydrogen Embrittlement; Microstructure

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