International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.4, 3294-3306, 2020
Atomistic simulation study of the grain-size effect on hydrogen embrittlement of nanograined Fe
Although hydrogen-induced fracture at grain boundaries has been widely studied and several mechanisms have been proposed, few studies of nanograined materials have been conducted, especially for grain sizes below the critical size for the inverse Hall-fetch relation. In this research work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to investigate the hydrogen segregation and hydrogen embrittlement mechanism in polycrystalline Fe models. When the same concentration of H atoms is added, the H segregation ratio in the model with the smallest grain size is the highest observed herein, showing the high hydrogen trapping ability of small-grain Fe, while the H concentration at the grain boundaries (GBs) is, on the contrary, the lowest. Uniaxial tensile test simulations demonstrate that as the grain size decreases, the models show an increased resistance to hydrogen embrittlement, and for small-grain models (d < 10 nm), the GB-related deformation modes dominate the plastic deformation, where the segregated H mainly influences the toughness by inhibiting GB-related processes. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.