Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging of deuterium assisted cracking in a 2205 duplex stainless steel micro-structure

Oded Sobol, Gerald Holzlechner, Gert Nolze, Thomas Wirth, Dan Eliezer, Thomas Boellinghaus, Wolfgang E.S. Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the present work, the influence of deuterium on the microstructure of a duplex stainless steel type EN 1.4462 has been characterized by Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) supported by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB), electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) investigations. Characterization has been carried out before and after electrochemical charging with deuterium which has been used as a tracer, due to its similar behavior to hydrogen in the steel microstructure. In a first approach, the distribution of the deuterium occurring at temperatures above −58 °C has been visualized. Further it turned out that sub-surface micro blisters are formed in the ferrite-austenite interface, followed by the formation of needle shaped plates and subsequent cracking at the ferrite surface. In the austenite phase, parallel cracking alongside twins and hexagonal close packed (martensitic) regions has been observed. In both phases and even in the apparent interface, cracking has been associated with high deuterium concentrations, as compared to the surrounding undamaged microstructure. Sub-surface blistering in the ferrite has to be attributed to the accumulation and recombination of deuterium at the ferrite-austenite interface underneath the respective ferrite grains and after fast diffusing through this phase. Generally, the present application of chemometric imaging and structural analyses allows characterization of hydrogen assisted degradation at a sub-micron lateral resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2016


  • EBSD
  • FIB
  • Hydrogen assisted cracking
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • SEM
  • ToF-SIMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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