SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Influence of Cathodic Charging on the Tensile and Fracture Properties of Three High-Strength Steels


The influence of cathodic charging in sulfuric acid solution on mechanical properties of AISI 4340, AISI 300M, and AMS 6340 steels was studied for different tempering temperatures. Cathodic charging decreased the tensile elongation, the reduction in area, and the ultimate tensile stress as a result of hydrogen-induced surface cracks having brittle features, which then transformed into cracks propagating by microvoid nucleation and coalescence along planes of maximum shear stress.

The curves of the J-integral as a function of the crack advance Δa presented a change in slope at a small Δa value. For the lower tempering temperatures, this Δa value was relatively large and similar to that required to obtain a single crack propagating across the thickness. Cathodic charging decreased JIc as a result of bands of brittle cracking near each lateral surface and of facilitated initiation of cracking, in an alternating fashion along planes of maximum shear stress.

Author Information

Tremblay, V
Institut de Recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ), Varennes, PQ, Canada École Polytechnique, Montreal, Canada
Nguyen-Duy, P
Institut de Recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ), Varennes, PQ, Canada
Dickson, JI
École Polytechnique, Montreal, Canada
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 615–627
DOI: 10.1520/STP18847S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5081-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1250-6