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Hydrogen-assisted microcrack formation in bearing steels under rolling contact fatigue

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number105485
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Fatigue
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/01/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A ball-on-rod RCF tester was employed to investigate the failure mechanisms of hydrogen-rich rolling components. The formation of defects, voids and surface cracks is significantly facilitated in hydrogen-rich bearing steels. In samples with RCF cycles of 1.6 × 107, the void density in hydrogen-rich samples is about three times that of hydrogen-free samples, whilst their crack length density four times that of hydrogen-free samples. This is due to a higher stress intensity factor around inclusions which is altered by hydrogen. Further characterisation confirms that grain boundaries are preferential sites for void formation and crack propagation.