Elastic fields generated by a semi-spherical hydride particle on a free surface of a metal and their effect on its growth

Y. Greenbaum, D. Barlam, M. H. Mintz, R. Z. Shneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The formation of a metal hydride is associated with a large increase of volume relative to the parent metal and therefore in large strain energies. Effects of elastic energy on the hydriding of metals are revealed in the microstructural evolution and kinetics of hydride growth on free surfaces. In the present work, we study in detail the elastic fields set up by a semi-spherical hydride particle growing at a free surface of metal with cubic symmetry, with and without an oxide layer. These systems combine geometric (structural) and material anisotropies. Three stages along the microstructural evolution on the surface of some hydride forming metals exposed to hydrogen at constant pressure were described experimentally. For these stages along hydride growth, correlations with the elastic fields are suggested as follows. (a) A hydride particle at the free surface generates regions of tensile and compressive hydrostatic stress in the surrounding matrix. This may induce a preferred nucleation of new hydrides and formation of clusters of hydrides precipitates, which is indeed observed experimentally. (b) Clustering, on the other hand, may contribute to the cease of growth due to competition on hydrogen. In addition, as the particle grows, changes in the stress fields may retard further diffusion from the surface and be another contribution to the cease of growth. (c) A growing hydride increases the stress in the oxide layer and may finely break it. Then the elastic energy per unit volume drops to its minimum value and the growth may accelerate. The formation of such "growth center" is favored for that hydride precipitate that grow alone and not in a cluster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4025-4034
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Issue number9
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2011


  • Anisotropy
  • Computer simulations
  • Diffusion
  • Metal hydride
  • Precipitation
  • Thermodynamic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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