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The terms internal hydrogen embrittlement (IHE) and hydrogen environment embrittlement (HEE) are used to relate the original location of hydrogen within a system to a degradation in the fracture behavior of a metal structure (either the crack initiation or the growth stage of fracture). Because these phenomena are the combination of a number of processes involved both in the transport of hydrogen and its interaction with the metal lattice, they are complex. To say such complex phenomena are always the same or are always different would be equally absurd. Instead, my answer to this closing question must be to indicate briefly under what conditions IHE and HEE are similar and are different.
Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Calif.