The Influence of Residual Stresses on the Susceptibility to Hydrogen Embrittlement in Hardened Steel Components Subjected to Rolling Contact Conditions
A review of many years of published work has shown that hydrogen embrittlement can occur under rolling contact conditions. Breakdown of lubrication and contamination with water have been cited as the probable sources of atomic hydrogen. In this paper, a unique fracture morphology is identified and the mechanism of the fracture progression from initiation to final catastrophic failure is proposed. Development of beneficial residual compressive stress near the contacting surfaces is one approach used to avoid this type of failure. Several alternative methods capable of developing a more desirable stress distribution will be discussed.