Hydrogen-induced intergranular failure in nickel revisited

M. L. Martin, B. P. Somerday, R. O. Ritchie, P. Sofronis, I. M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a combination of high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the basic mechanisms of hydrogen-induced intergranular fracture in nickel have been revisited. Focused-ion beam machining was employed to extract samples from the fracture surface to enable the examination of the microstructure immediately beneath it. Evidence for slip on multiple slip systems was evident on the fracture surface; immediately beneath it, an extensive dislocation substructure exists. These observations raise interesting questions about the role of plasticity in establishing the conditions for hydrogen-induced crack initiation and propagation along a grain boundary. The mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement are re-examined in light of these new results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2739-2745
Number of pages7
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Intergranular cracking
  • Nickel
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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