2009 Volume 95 Issue 12 Pages 887-894
The risk of delayed fracture should be evaluated when applying ultra high strength steel sheets to automotive parts. Steel sheets for automobiles are usually formed into various parts by cold working. Therefore, plastic strain introduced by the cold working must be considered as a factor affecting the hydrogen embrittlement in addition to the applied stress and the content of diffusible hydrogen entered into steels, which are considered as factors affecting the hydrogen embrittlement of high strength steel bolts. In this study, the influence of plastic strain, as well as stress and diffusible hydrogen content, on hydrogen embrittlement of steel sheets was quantitatively studied by using an 1180 MPa grade cold rolled steel sheet. Plastic strain was introduced by U-shape bending. Stress was applied by tightening the bent specimen with a bolt. Then, hydrogen was introduced by immersing in hydrochloric acid. The time to fracture and the content of diffusible hydrogen entered into steel were investigated. The fracture was promoted by severe deformation, and it seemed to be caused by the presence of micro cracks and/or micro voids. The hydrogen cracking conditions region of the steel sheet was mapped in the three-dimensional space with the axes of applied strain, applied stress and diffusible hydrogen content. It was considered that the evaluation of the risk of delayed fracture of automotive parts made of the steel sheet under service environment was possible by a comparison of the hydrogen cracking conditions and the service conditions of the parts on the 3D space.