Test methods to assess transverse weld metal hydrogen cracking
Hydrogen cracking in steel weldments can drastically reduce the toughness and ductility of welds in steel structures. Unfortunately, the development of the hydrogen economy will also see materials being increasingly exposed to hydrogen, in processes such as during hydrogen production and transportation. Thus, test methods are required which allow for a reproducible assessment of hydrogen embrittlement in weld material. In this article, rectangular test specimens made from weld bead on plate samples were subject to 4-point bend testing to investigate the relationship between applied stress, hydrogen content and embrittlement. This test concentrates the stresses in the weld bead, thus reducing the effects of premature HAZ cracking and enabling failure to develop in the weld metal, and showed good reproducibility. This test may form the basis for an industry test. Another test method is described using an un-machined weld bead on plate. A method of calculating the stresses and strains in this specimen in 4-point bending was developed.