In this study, a simple screening technique using an in-situ small-punch (SP) test and based on the hydrogen embrittlement (HE) sensitivity of austenitic stainless steels was developed for use in hydrogen energy facilities. To investigate the HE behaviors of metallic materials, the in-situ SP tests were carried out under high-pressure hydrogen gas environments. The reductions of thickness at the fractured parts of the specimen were measured. The relative reductions of thickness (RRT) were determined after conducting SP tests in both hydrogen and inert gas environments. Similar to the relative reduction of area (RRA) obtained using the slow strain-rate tensile test, RRT obtained using the in-situ SP test is a quantitative measure of the influence of the HE behaviors. The influence of punch velocity on HE sensitivity was examined. The HE behaviors of austenitic steels were evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively. The high-Mn steels were also evaluated because they are candidates for storage and transportation of hydrogen gas. A screening technique for determining the practical environmental conditions at the point of use could be established by confirming the effectiveness of the influencing factor, RRT, using this in-situ SP test method.

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