Numerical analysis of the interaction of solute hydrogen atoms with the stress field of a crack

J. Lufrano, P. Sofronis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Finite element analysis is used to study the effect of mobile interstitial hydrogen on the deformation of metals and alloys in the case when hydrogen is in equilibrium with local stresses. The effect is studied by calculating the hydrogen atmosphere around a stationary crack tip in a linearly elastic isotropic material loaded in mode I plane strain conditions. Stresses, strains and equilibrium hydrogen concentrations are determined through an iterative finite element analysis while accounting for stress relaxation due to hydrogen induced local volume and elastic modulus changes. Numerical calculations reveal a zone immediately ahead of the crack tip in which the lattice is saturated with hydrogen. The dimensionless size of the saturation zone is found to be independent of the applied loads. The stiffness derivative method is used to calculate the hydrogen induced changes in the stress intensity factor. Calculations show that the presence of mobile interstitial hydrogen produces crack tip shielding when hydrogen induced changes in the elastic moduli are considered. The implications of the elastic analysis of the interaction between hydrogen in equilibrium with local stresses near a crack tip on the fracture resistance of materials are discussed. Then results are examined in conjunction with the elastic-plastic deformation at the tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1723
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number12
StatePublished - May 8 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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