Study on the Hydrogen Embrittlement of Nanograined Materials with Different Grain Sizes by Atomistic Simulation

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Although hydrogen embrittlement (HE) behavior has been extensively studied in bulk materials, little is known about H-related deformation and the fracture of nanograined materials. In this study, H segregation and HE mechanisms of nanograined Fe with different grain sizes are unveiled, following the employment of classical molecular dynamics simulations. The H segregation ratio increased, but the local H concentration at the grain boundaries (GBs) decreased with decreases in the grain size at a given bulk H concentration. The results demonstrate that H atoms increased the yield stress of nanograined models irrespective of the grain size. Furthermore, it is revealed that brittle fractures were inhibited, and the resistance to HE increased as the grain size decreased, due to the fact that the small-grain models had a lower local H concentration at the GBs and an enhanced GB-mediated intergranular deformation. These results are a clear indication of the utility of grain refinement to resist H-induced brittle failure.

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National Natural Science Foundation of China



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