During the cleaning and acid pickling process of electroplating, atomic hydrogen can be absorbed through the surface of the metal component. The electroplated coating traps the hydrogen inside the steel component unless they are baked soon after plating to drive the hydrogen out. If the hydrogen remains in the steel, it can migrate to areas of high stress and cause small microcracks, which rapidly enlarge under load causing a brittlement failure.
In other words, embrittlement occurs when an object is exposed to corrosive environments or hydrogen during plating processes. This exposure can affect the object at the atomic level, causing premature failure under load.
There are many standards which require hydrogen embrittlement relief baking for steel components above HRC 40 maximum hardness level or 1000Mpa tensile strength where baking at 204 deg C at 4hrs, 6hrs, 8hrs and 24hr is a requirement for hydrogen embrittlement relief.
Give us a call today to discuss your Hydrogen De Enbrittlement requirements.
Contact us today to discuss all of your plating requirements and see how we can help.