The influence of temperature on hydrogen environmentally assisted cracking of AA7449-T7651 in moist air

Unai De Francisco*, Nicolas O Larrosa, Matthew J Peel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


The 7xxx series of aluminium alloys are sensitive to intergranular hydrogen environmentally assisted cracking (HEAC) in moist air environments. A new generation of 7xxx alloys used in aircraft components (including AA7449)
have been found to be more sensitive to HEAC. This investigation aims to quantify the HEAC crack growth rates of AA7449-T7651 in moist air at different temperatures. Double cantilever beam specimens were loaded at a constant
displacement and placed in moist air (80-85% relative humidity) at temperatures between 25-80ºC. Regular measurements of crack length permitted the determination of the crack growth rate as a function of the stress intensity factor
(KI) during stage I (high KI dependence of growth rate) and stage II (low KI dependence of growth rate). Increasing the temperature was found to increase the crack growth rate during stage II cracking, following Arrhenius kinetics.
The activation energy for the stage II crack growth rate at a stress intensity factor of 14.5 MPa m^0.5 was estimated as 84.7 kJ/mol. Additionally, the threshold stress intensity factor for HEAC was found to decrease with increasing
temperature. This was attributed to a higher hydrogen solubility at higher temperatures. The crack growth rate of AA7449-T7651 at room temperature was similar to that of overaged AA7050 and AA7075-T7651, ranging between
1.3-2.1*10-7 mm/s. It was inferred that the alloy temper has more influence than the composition during stage II cracking at room temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109199
Number of pages9
JournalCorrosion Science
Early online date19 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2020


  • Fracture mechanics
  • AA7449
  • Hydrogen environmentally assisted cracking
  • Double cantilever beam
  • Moist air
  • Aluminium alloys


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