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Hydrogen Induced Cracking

Atomic hydrogen (H+), generated by the cathodic corrosion reaction can lead to two types of failures in steels; Hydrogen Blistering and Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC). Part of the hydrogen produced by the cathodic corrosion reaction may permeate the steel by diffusion, and the balance is dissolved in the process electrolyte or released as bubbles of gas. Poisoning agents in the process, such as hydrogen sulfide, cyanide, and arsenic, inhibit the formation of molecular hydrogen on the metal surface and therefore increase the proportion of atomic hydrogen which diffuses into steel.