skip to main content


Title: Rapid Diffusion and Nanosegregation of Hydrogen in Magnesium Alloys from Exposure to Water

Hydrogen gas is formed when Mg corrodes in water; however, the manner and extent to which the hydrogen may also enter the Mg metal is poorly understood. Such knowledge is critical as stress corrosion cracking (SCC)/embrittlement phenomena limit many otherwise promising structural and functional uses of Mg. Here, we report via D 2O/D isotopic tracer and H 2O exposures with characterization by secondary ion mass spectrometry, inelastic neutron scattering vibrational spectrometry, electron microscopy, and atom probe tomography techniques direct evidence that hydrogen rapidly penetrated tens of micrometers into Mg metal after only 4 h of exposure to water at room temperature. Further, technologically important microalloying additions of <1 wt % Zr and Nd used to improve the manufacturability and mechanical properties of Mg significantly increased the extent of hydrogen ingress, whereas Al additions in the 2–3 wt % range did not. Segregation of hydrogen species was observed at regions of high Mg/Zr/Nd nanoprecipitate density and at Mg(Zr) metastable solid solution microstructural features. We also report evidence that this ingressed hydrogen was unexpectedly present in the alloy as nanoconfined, molecular H 2. These new insights provide a basis for strategies to design Mg alloys to resist SCC in aqueous environments asmore » well as potentially impact functional uses such as hydrogen storage where increased hydrogen uptake is desired.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. University of Manitoba (UM), Winnipeg (Canada). Department of Geological Sciences
  3. Magnesium Elektron North America (MENA), Madison, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 43; Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; corrosion; hydrogen; hydrogen storage; magnesium; stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1408592