Hydrogen Embrittlement of the Additively Manufactured High-Strength X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5 Maraging Steel

Materials (Basel). 2021 Sep 4;14(17):5073. doi: 10.3390/ma14175073.


The main aim of this study was to determine the susceptibility of the additively manufactured high strength X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5 maraging steel to hydrogen embrittlement. For this purpose, samples produced by selective laser melting technology, before and after heat treatment, were used. The examined samples were electrochemically charged with hydrogen in NaCl + NH4SCN solution at a current density of 50 mA/cm2 for 24 h. The H content increased from about 1 to 15 ppm. Heat treatment did not affect the amount of H trapped in the maraging steel. Tensile testing revealed that the tensile strength of the H-charged samples was much lower than that of the uncharged samples. Moreover, the material became brittle after charging compared to the ductile as-printed and heat-treated samples with elongation values of 7% and 2%, respectively. The loss of plasticity was confirmed by fractography, which revealed transformation of the fracture surface morphology from dimple-like in the as-produced state to a brittle one with smooth facets in the H-charged state.

Keywords: hydrogen embrittlement; hydrogen-induced cracking; maraging steel; selective laser melting.