What is hydrogen embrittlement?

Hydrogen embrittlement is a corrosive process of embrittlement, loss of ductility and load capacity, and fracture and cracking in metal due to exposure to hydrogen.

Under certain conditions, the diaphragm of a sensor may lose its flexibility causing inaccurate readings; in more severe cases, fractures or cracks can expose a system or area to hydrogen, creating safety and health risks. However, not all metals are vulnerable to this phenomenon.  316 stainless steel contains nickel and molybdenum that makes it very resistant to various types of corrosion, including hydrogen embrittlement.

When choosing a pressure transducer for a system, selecting compatible wetted material is the most paramount decision in the process. Using incompatible material means a transducer may be prone to hydrogen embrittlement, leading to premature failure in the application.

Hydrogen is used as a process media across many different industries and applications. Used in OEM equipment, pressure sensors play an important role in the safe, efficient, and reliable operation in material handling equipment, power generation, hydrogen production/distribution, and many other applications.

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