Hydrogen embrittlement is an unwanted process that occurs when high-strength steel and other metals adsorb hydrogen, causing the metal to become brittle and crack. Hydrogen embrittlement can occur at any point during the manufacturing process or during operational use when metal encounters atomic or molecular hydrogen.
Some industrial processes seal the surface of the steel trapping hydrogen in the steel’s metallurgical lattice. The hydrogen attempts to migrate to the surface. If it is not allowed to de-gas, the hydrogen can explode-out through the sealed layer causing paint (porcelain enamel) or electroplating defects.
Luckily, hydrogen embrittlement is not always permanent. If the metal does not crack, then ductility can be restored if environmental conditions are changed so that hydrogen is unable to build-up on the surface of the metal.
Make sure to consider Vanchem Performance Chemicals when you are looking for hydrogen embrittlement solutions. Vanchem offers a line of specially formulated cleaners that effectively work to reduce hydrogen embrittlement in porcelain enamel and electroplating operations.
VANCLEAN 41S is a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner developed to clean deeply and aid in degassing steel by unique chelating action. VANCLEAN 41S is a special alkaline liquid, spray-cleaning formulation that includes accelerators, chelating, wetting, and penetrating agents to provide more efficient, faster cleaning and degreasing of metals. VANCLEAN 41S produces little foaming and has exceptional rinsing properties. It is entirely safe to use on steel and caustic resistant metals.
When using VANCLEAN 41S to fight hydrogen embrittlement, make sure to follow our instructions and to pay close attention to all parameters. This product took many years in development. VANCLEAN 41S has many diverse uses, but in the area of porcelain enameling where hydrogen embrittlement can be a problem, we have found that cleaning with this product before enameling greatly reduces the incidence of hydrogen popping and rejects. Rejects are costly, and VANCLEAN 41S helps to reduce production rejects, lowering production costs.
Use Vanchem’s VANCLEAN 41S to help reduce potential hydrogen embrittlement. This will save your company time and money. Contact us at our corporate headquarters for more information about controlling hydrogen embrittlement.