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Hydrogen pumping by austenitic stainless steel

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2 Author(s)
Zajec, Bojan ; Department of Surface Engineering and Optoelectronics, “Jozef Stefan” Institute, Jamova 39, Ljubljana, Slovenia ; Nemanic, Vincenc

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In the present study, hydrogen sorption and desorption kinetics close to equilibrium were investigated in a pinched-off AISI 316 steel cell by a sensitive pressure-rise method. The pressure was monitored with a spinning rotor gauge (SRG) just before the pinch-off and after it for 6 months at two stabilized temperatures: 25 °C and 55 °C. The preprocessing of the cell (of uniform wall thickness 0.15 mm volume 125 cm3, and inner surface 460 cm2) consisted of baking at 200 °C for 109 h with several evacuation cycles to ultrahigh vacuum (UHV). The quantity of released hydrogen during the bake-out procedure equaled the average concentration change ΔC=2.8×1017 at. H cm-3. After the pinch-off intentionally done in the high vacuum range where hydrogen represented the residual atmosphere, surprisingly the hydrogen pressure slowly declined from the initial p(328 K)=3.7×10-4 mbar, with an initial rate dp/dt=-5.5×10-11 mbar/s and later attained a stable value, which could be termed the equilibrium. In similar reported experiments, where valving-off began in the UHV, the dp/dt was always positive and constant over several orders of magnitude in pressure. During 6 months of measurements, a sudden temperature jump from 25 °C to- -  55 °C or back was applied a few times to investigate the stability of the equilibrium or the impact on the pressure course. The most plausible explanation of the results is given along with discussion whether hydrogen permeated through the cell wall or if it was absorbed in the cell wall.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2005

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