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Hydrogen-Induced Cracking and Blistering in Steels: A Review



May Ling Martin, Petros Sofronis


This paper presents a review of the current state of scientific understanding of the corrosion phenomenon known as Hydrogen-Induced Cracking (HIC). HIC is defined as cracking in ferritic steels where cracking is driven by the precipitation of gaseous hydrogen molecules within the crack, which typically occurs in sour (H2S containing) environments. It is a complicated phenomenon, encompassing a surface reaction for hydrogen uptake, hydrogen diffusion to vulnerable microstructural sites, hydrogen gas precipitation creating an incipient crack, and crack growth driven by hydrogen gas pressure within the crack. While HIC has been studied for decades, understanding of the critical factors controlling each step of the phenomenon has been elusive. The maturation of many characterization techniques gives hope that a full mechanistic understanding may occur in the near future.
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering


Hydrogen-Induced Cracking, Corrosion, Hydrogen Sulfide Environment


Martin, M. and Sofronis, P. (2022), Hydrogen-Induced Cracking and Blistering in Steels: A Review, Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created March 31, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022