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Hydrogen-accelerated spontaneous microcracking in high-strength aluminium alloys

Tsuru, Tomohito  ; Shimizu, Kazuyuki*; Yamaguchi, Masatake  ; Itakura, Mitsuhiro ; Ebihara, Kenichi  ; Bendo, A.*; Matsuda, Kenji*; Toda, Hiroyuki*

Age-hardening has been one and only process to achieve high strength aluminum alloys since unlike iron and titanium, pure aluminum does not have other solid phases during heat treatment. Highly-concentrated precipitations play therefore dominant role in mechanical properties and hydrogen embrittlement of aluminium alloys. It has been considered that the coherent interface between matrix and precipitation does not contribute to the crack initiation and embrittlement due to its coherency. Here, we discovered the origin of unprecedented quasi-cleavage fracture mode. Hydrogen partitioning at various defect sites is investigated comprehensively combined with experiment, theory and first-principles calculations. We demonstrate that despite low excess free volume, the aluminum-precipitation interface is more preferable trap site than void and grain boundary. The cohesivity of the interface deteriorates significantly with increasing occupancy while hydrogen atoms are trapped stably up to extremely high occupancy equivalent to spontaneous cleavage.

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Percentile:69.45

Category:Multidisciplinary Sciences

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