Hydrogenation treatment under several gigapascals assists diffusionless transformation in a face-centered cubic steel

Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 29;11(1):19384. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-98938-1.


The use of hydrogen in iron and steel has the potential to improve mechanical properties via altering the phase stability and dislocation behavior. When hydrogen is introduced under several gigapascals, a stoichiometric composition of hydrogen can be introduced for steel compositions. In this study, a face-centered cubic (fcc) stainless steel was hydrogenated under several gigapascals. When the steel was not hydrogenated, the microstructure after depressurization was an fcc with a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure. In contrast, the hydrogenation treatment resulted in a fine lath body-centered cubic (bcc) structure arising from diffusionless transformation. In particular, the bcc phase formed through the following transformation sequence: fcc → hcp → dhcp (double hexagonal close-packed phase) → bcc. That is, the use of hydrogenation treatment realized fine microstructure evolution through a new type of diffusionless transformation sequence, which is expected to be used in future alloy design strategies for developing high-strength steels.