2010 Volume 50 Issue 2 Pages 294-301
Tensile specimens of 10B22 (22MnB5) sheet steels were austenitized, quenched to martensite, and tempered at temperatures between 150 and 520°C for various times. The heat treated specimens were charged with 1.7 ppm hydrogen and immediately tested. Fracture surfaces were examined by field emission scanning electron microscopy. As-quenched martensitic specimens exhibited the most severe embrittlement and failed by stress-controlled cleavage fracture at low stresses. The initiation of hydrogen-induced fracture in specimens tempered between 150 and 350°C was consistent with glide plane decohesion, and coarse inclusion particles served as sources of hydrogen for circular areas of hydrogen-induced cleavage. Specimens tempered at 460 and 520°C showed little sensitivity to hydrogen embrittlement. The progression of decreased sensitivity to hydrogen-induced fracture with increasing tempering temperature correlates with the reduction in dislocations, the principal hydrogen traps, and the formation of cementite particles, considered to be ineffectual traps, with increased tempering. Very small amounts of intergranular fracture were observed, only in as-quenched specimens, confirming that boron has little effect on hydrogen embrittlement of hardened low-carbon steels.