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topic 7102

Hydrogen Embrittlement of 4340 Steel


What is the potential for hydrogen embrittlement of 4340 steel during the electroplating/pickling process?

Gary Baldoni
abrasives - Worcester, Massachusetts


It depends on the condition of the 4340 steel and the specific electroplating/pickling process. If the steel is hard, there is a great potential for hydrogen embrittlement when the process generates hydrogen at the steel surface as in most plating and pickling processes. There is an ASTM standard for evaluation of processes for hydrogen embrittlement that will provide a reliable answer to your question about any specific process.

larry hanke
Larry Hanke
Minneapolis, Minnesota


I am currently studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire and am in my final year. For my final year project I have chosen "Hydrogen Embrittlement of 4340 steel" used in landing gear applications. I will be conducting chromium and cadmium electroplating on tensile test pieces and testing for the effects of hydrogen upon the mechanical properties of the material. I will also be using SEM to look at the grain microstructure of the metal. The normal procedure in industry for the hydrogen embrittlement is a 23 hour de-embrittlement bake post electroplating, which must be performed within 10 hours (Boeing SOPM).

aerospace - London, UK

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