Hydrogen Embrittlement And Heat Treating

We recently had some parts fail during an endurance test. The mill
that produced the material is claiming that we induced hydrogen into
the part during our heat treatment. The material is two and one half
inches in diameter, 4350. We heat the parts for two and one half hours
in an endothermic atmosphere, quench in mild oil. then double temper,
two hours at 375 F. The evidence of hydrogen damage is visible
approximately one eight of an inch below the surface at the site of
large inculsions, aluminum oxide. We have ran this operation for 40
years and I have never seen this occur. I was under the impression
that only atomic hydrogen acts this way in steel, and that atomic
hydrogen would not be present at 1550 F. At what temperature does
molecular hydrogen become atomic hydrogen. Thanks in advance for any
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According to my copy of Kubaschewski, Evans, and Alcock, Metallurgical Thermochemistry (Pergamon, 1967); For the reaction
1/2 H2 (g) -> H (g) Enthalpy = 52.1 kcal/mol, Entropy = 27.4 cal/mole/deg
G = 52,100 - 27.4 T = 0 T = 1901 K ( 2962 F)
Bear in mind that the entropy is the third law entropy. You will have to include the contribution for the distributional entropy.
Reply to
John Ferman
"Furnace atmospheres of hydrogen or cracked ammonia can result in hydrogen entry during heat treatment of steel". Quoted from the introduction to an article by D. Warren, "Hydrogen Effects on Steel," that appeared in the January 1987 issue of Materials Performance magazine (pages 38-48).
Pittsburgh Pete
Reply to
Pittsburgh Pete

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