Hydrogen in iron and steel

© Fraunhofer IWM

Hydrogen penetration into metals causes their mechanical stability to degrade – a phenomenon known as hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen embrittlement affects almost all metals and is therefore the cause of significant technical and economic damage. The IWM investigates the inclusion and migration of hydrogen atoms in iron and nickel using quantum mechanics and atomistic computer simulations. The susceptibility of the metals to hydrogen embrittlement can be concluded from the thermodynamic, kinetic and mechanical properties determined in this manner.