Special Issue "Environmentally Assisted Cracking in Advanced High Strength Alloys"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Afrooz Barnoush

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Richard Birkelandsvei 2B, NO - 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: metallic materials; structural and functional properties; structure-property correlations; advanced nanoscale materials characterization; nanoscale mechanical testing; environmentally assisted fracture and fatigue; in situ testing; stress corrosion cracking; corrosion; Hydrogen embrittlement
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mariano Iannuzzi

Chevron and Woodside Chair, Curtin University & Adjunct Professor at NTNU
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmentally assisted cracking; hydrogen embrittlement; low alloy steels; corrosion resistant alloys; localized corrosion; fracture mechanics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmentally assisted cracking (EAC), an intricate interaction between the environment, stress state, and material, results in brittle fracture of otherwise ductile materials. EAC covers a broad range of failure in materials, such as stress corrosion cracking (SCC), corrosion fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement, sulfide stress cracking, hydrogen enhanced fatigue, irradiation induced SCC, to name a few. All different forms of EAC have been studied extensively, and, for a relatively long time, generating a vast body of knowledge.

We are presently experiencing the complete transformation of the alloy development and manufacturing cycles, which are transitioning from the traditional trial-and-error approach to a new knowledge-based methodology. Thus, the scientific and engineering communities require a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in EAC-related phenomena. Likewise, new processing techniques, like additive manufacturing, are becoming mainstream. The new manufacturing methods could lead to alloys with entirely different microstructures and compositional variations and, consequently, unknown EAC behavior.

At the same time, the ever-growing demand of the energy, automotive, and aerospace sectors has fueled the development of new high strength alloys with complex microstructures and chemistries, prone to EAC.

The examples above boldly illustrate the necessity of interdisciplinary and multiscale research to increase the understanding of the mechanisms leading to environmental cracking in high-performing alloys. Modern techniques and approaches, including in situ testing and high-resolution analysis and characterization tools, provide an entirely new perspective for the examination pf the various forms of EAC.

This Special Issue presents the latest research on EAC of advanced alloys.

Prof. Dr. Afrooz Barnoush
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Stress corrosion cracking;
  • Environmentally assisted fracture;
  • Hydrogen embrittlement;
  • Mechanical aspects of corrosion;
  • Hydrogen enhanced cracking;
  • Irradiation-induced SCC;
  • In situ testing

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Fatigue Crack Growth Behavior of Austempered AISI 4140 Steel with Dissolved Hydrogen
Metals 2017, 7(11), 466; doi:10.3390/met7110466
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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The focus of this investigation was to examine the influence of dissolved hydrogen on the fatigue crack growth behavior of an austempered low-alloy AISI 4140 steel. The investigation also examined the influence of dissolved hydrogen on the fatigue threshold in this material. The
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The focus of this investigation was to examine the influence of dissolved hydrogen on the fatigue crack growth behavior of an austempered low-alloy AISI 4140 steel. The investigation also examined the influence of dissolved hydrogen on the fatigue threshold in this material. The material was tested in two conditions, as-received (cold rolled and annealed) and austempered (austenitized at 882 °C for 1 h and austempered at 332 °C for 1 h). The microstructure of the annealed specimens consisted of a mix of ferrite and fine pearlite; the microstructure of the austempered specimens was lower bainite. Tensile and Compact Tension specimens were prepared. To examine the influence of dissolved hydrogen, two subsets of the CT specimens were charged with hydrogen for three different time periods between 150 and 250 h. All of the CT samples were then subjected to fatigue crack growth tests in the threshold and linear regions at room temperature. The test results indicate that austempering resulted in significant improvement in the yield and tensile strength as well as the fracture toughness of the material. The test results also show that, in the absence of dissolved hydrogen, the crack growth rate in the threshold and linear regions was lower in austempered samples compared to the as-received (annealed) samples. The fatigue threshold was also slightly greater in the austempered samples. In presence of dissolved hydrogen, the crack growth rate was dependent upon the ∆K value. In the low ∆K region (<30 MPa√m), the presence of dissolved hydrogen caused the crack growth rate to be higher in the austempered samples as compared to annealed samples. Above this value, the crack growth rate was increasingly greater in the annealed specimens when compared to the austempered specimens in presence of dissolved hydrogen. It is concluded that austempering of 4140 steel appears to provide a processing route by which the strength, hardness, and fracture toughness of the material can be increased with little or no degradation in the ductility and fatigue crack growth behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Assisted Cracking in Advanced High Strength Alloys)

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