Element’s Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE) testing determines the performance of materials in a corrosive environment under the influence of the tensile stress by evaluating the material’s ductility as a result of hydrogen absorption. The tests may be carried out according to ASTM F519 standard for many industries including Energy, Aerospace and Automotive

Hydrogen embrittlement occurs when metals are subjected to hydrogen uptake during plating processes or as a result of corrosion in the service environment. This causes the metal to lose ductility and toughness and become brittle, resulting in premature failure under static loads.

There are two types of Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE):

  • Internal HE - which occurs when the hydrogen enters metal during forming, coating, plating, cleaning, and finishing operations
  • Environmental HE - resulting from hydrogen being absorbed from the environment. 

ASTM F519 test method 

Element performs mechanical hydrogen embrittlement testing according to ASTM F519. The test specification outlines the use of Sustained Load Testing (SLT) to measure the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement in steel materials by applying uniaxial tension for up to 200 hours. 

Additionally, ASTM F519 provides guidance for evaluating the processes of surface preparation, pretreatments, and the plating/coating of steel parts.  


Galvanically Induced Hydrogen Stress Cracking (GHSC) 

The presence of hydrogen (introduced via corrosion) in a metal may result in reduced ductility and increased susceptibility to cracking in the presence of tensile stress (applied and /or residual). Element’s GHSC testing helps evaluate the hydrogen embrittlement sustainability of the corrosion resistant products and metal materials, when galvanically coupled, as the cathode, to another metal (carbon steel). We perform testing in accordance to NACE MR0175/ISO 15156


Hydrogen Induced Stress Cracking (HISC)

Subsea Oil & Gas production equipment is exposed to severe conditions which have led to a number of failures of Corrosion Resistant Alloys (CRAs). Our hydrogen embrittlement testing labs can carry out HISC testing of nickel alloys and duplex stainless steels, widely used in subsea components, to investigate how hydrogen influences materials’ behavior under mechanical stress. 


The Element advantage

We perform HE testing for coating and plating processes that can cause hydrogen embrittlement in steels, and on the metals in simulated service environments. Our deep knowledge of corrosion testing and years of experience means that we know the challenges of assessing hydrogen-related damage in many industries. 

For more information about how we perform Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE) Testing, or to request a quote, contact us today.


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