The effect of absorbed hydrogen on the dissolution of steel

Sebastian Thomas, Noemie Ott, Rebecca Filardo Schaller, Jodie A. Yuwono, Polina Volovitch, Guruprasad Sundararajan, Nikhil V. Medhekar, Kevin Ogle, John R. Scully, Nick Birbilis

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Atomic hydrogen (H) was introduced into steel (AISI 1018 mild steel) by controlled cathodic pre-charging. The resultant steel sample, comprising about 1 ppmw diffusible H, and a reference uncharged sample, were studied using atomic emission spectroelectrochemistry (AESEC). AESEC involved potentiodynamic polarisation in a flowing non-passivating electrolyte (0.6 M NaCl, pH 1.95) with real time reconciliation of metal dissolution using on-line inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The presence of absorbed H was shown to significantly increase anodic Fe dissolution, as evidenced by the enhanced detection of Fe2+ ions by ICP-OES. We discuss this important finding in the context of previously proposed mechanisms for H-effects on the corrosion of steels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00209
Number of pages26
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Engineering
  • Materials Science

Cite this

Thomas, S., Ott, N., Schaller, R. F., Yuwono, J. A., Volovitch, P., Sundararajan, G., Medhekar, N. V., Ogle, K., Scully, J. R., & Birbilis, N. (2016). The effect of absorbed hydrogen on the dissolution of steel. Heliyon, 2(12), [e00209].