Clarification of the phenomenon of spontaneous micocracking of aluminum alloys
—Elucidation of the reasons for hydrogen embrittlement in aluminium alloys, and expectations for realizing high-strength alloys through computational science—
When hydrogen dissolves into a metal material, the strength of the metal generally decreases. There have been some problems in improving performance of high-strength aluminum alloys due to the effect of hydrogen embrittlement.
Based on both nanoscale experiments using special observation techniques, and atomistic simulations using super computer, this research showed that hydrogen segregated around fine precipitations in aluminum alloy causes spontaneous microcracking (separation) of aluminum, which found to be the dominant cause of hydrogen embrittlement.
The industrial technique enabling prevention of hydrogen embrittlement in aluminium alloys has been developing based on estimation of the state of hydrogen distribution in a material. High-strength aluminium alloys achieved through this knowledge will enable further weight and cost reductions of structural materials. As a result, the development of new types of high-strength, high-reliability aluminum is expected in the future.