The Effect of Hydrogen on the Ductile Properties of Irradiated Pressure Vessel Steels

    Published: Jan 1970

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    The influence of hydrogen on the mechanical properties (ductility, fracture strength, and tendency towards delayed failure) was investigated for several irradiated pressure vessel steels. Included were ASTM A302B, A542, and HY-80 steel irradiated at fluences from 8×1018 to 4×1020 n/cm2, E > 1 MeV. Specimens from plate sections of these steels which had been quenched and tempered and some from A542 which were given prestrain and heat treatment modifications were prepared and tested. The effects of strength level from irradiation, heat treatment, and microstructure were thus determined. Reductions in ductility and true fracture strength occurred with increasing hydrogen content but were not extensive at strength levels less than 180 ksi in specimens containing 1 to 2 ppm hydrogen. This concentration, however, produced a marked effect on the ductile properties when the strength level was increased by irradiation hardening or heat treatment beyond this threshold range. Irradiation hardening increased the magnitude of the decrease in notched strength resulting from a given hydrogen content in all of the steels and conditions tested. Hydrogen induced delayed failure, however, did not occur to any large extent in HY-80, A302B, and A542 steel in the normal quenched and tempered condition even after irradiation to fluences in excess of 1020 n/cm2, E > 1 MeV, and hydrogen concentrations of up to 4 ppm.


    hydrogen, hydrogen containing alloys, structural steels, pressurized water reactors, pressure vessels, ductility, fracture strength, mechanical properties, hardening (materials), heat treatment, radiation effects, neutron irradiation, microstructure, tests

    Author Information:

    Brinkman, CR
    Group leader and section chief, Materials Research, Idaho Nuclear Corp., Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Beeston, JM
    Group leader and section chief, Materials Research, Idaho Nuclear Corp., Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26609S

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