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Quick and reliable hydrogen embrittlement testing



OBJECTIVE: Identify & qualify hydrogen embrittlement test method which is as good as or better in terms of defining acceptable residual hydrogen levels in electroplated high strength steels as the current ASTM F519 200 hr tensile test method in less than 30 hrs. 

DESCRIPTION: The current method for identifying the existence of unacceptable levels of hydrogen in high strength steels is to utilize a 200 hour sustained load tensile test per the ASTM F519 test standard. This test is utilized to determine if a steel experiencing an electroplating operation or other manufacturing or overhaul process has adequately been relieved of hydrogen to an acceptably low concentration. The current accepted process is time consuming and cumbersome. Often parts are available for shipping or are shipped before test results are available. This 200 hour ASTM F 519 sustained load testing requirement not only creates potential cost increases due to increased flow times, it also creates potential increased safety risk due to parts being misplaced once they enter the field or supply system. This SBIR shall identify and qualify a tensile test method which is as good as or better in terms of defining acceptable residual hydrogen levels as the current ASTM F519 200 hr tensile test method. The method shall provide quicker test results and may mimic incremental step load methods existing in ASTM F 1940 and ASTM F 1624. 

PHASE I: Develop a solution that meets above requirements and conduct preliminary business case analysis (BCA) to determine implementation costs, including a return-on-investment (ROI) calculation that compares anticipated savings to expected costs. Proof-of-concept prototype(s) shall be developed to demonstrate conformance to the requirements. 

PHASE II: Initiate and complete the test plan developed in Phase I. Proof-of-concept prototype(s) shall be refined to installation-ready article and shall undergo testing to verify and validate all requirements. This process may require multiple iterations before a final design is selected. Refine BCA/ROI based on the final design. 

PHASE III: If cost effective, qualify, transition and implement the test procedure in the production environment at the Hill Air Force Base Plating facility with associated recommended technical order changes. 


1: ASTM F 519

2:  ASTM F 1940

3:  ASTM F 1624

4:  MIL-STD-860

KEYWORDS: Hydrogen Embrittlement, Electroplating, High Strength Steels 


Chad Hogan 

(801) 777-5739 

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