Hydrogen Embrittlement in Automotive Fastener Applications
Fastener failure due to hydrogen embrittlement is of significant concern in the automotive industry. These types of failures occur unexpectedly. They may be very costly to the automotive company and fastener supplier, not only monetarily, but also in terms of customer satisfaction and safety. This paper is an overview of a program which one automotive company initiated to minimize hydrogen embrittlement in fasteners. The objectives of the program were two-fold. One was to obtain a better understanding of the hydrogen embrittlement phenomena as it relates to automotive fastener materials and processes. The second and most important objective, was to eliminate hydrogen embrittlement failures in vehicles. Early program efforts concentrated on a review of fastener applications and corrosion protection systems to optimize coated fasteners for hydrogen embrittlement resistance.