We investigated the hydrogen embrittlement of a Fe-18Mn-1.2%C (wt.%) twinning-induced plasticity steel, focusing on the influence of deformation twins on hydrogen-assisted cracking. A tensile test under ongoing hydrogen charging was performed at low strain rate (1.7 × 10-6 s -1) to observe hydrogen-assisted cracking and crack propagation. Hydrogen-stimulated cracks and deformation twins were observed by electron channeling contrast imaging. We made the surprising observation that hydrogen-assisted cracking was initiated both at grain boundaries and also at deformation twins. Also, crack propagation occurred along both types of interfaces. Deformation twins were shown to assist intergranular cracking and crack propagation. The stress concentration at the tip of the deformation twins is suggested to play an important role in the hydrogen embrittlement of the Fe-Mn-C twining-induced plasticity steel.
- Crack propagation
- Electron channeling contrast imaging
- Hydrogen embrittlement
- Mechanical properties
- Twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP) steel