Hydrogen embrittlement is believed to be one of the main reasons for cracking of structures under stress. High strength steels in these structures often include a ferritic core made of alpha-iron (body centered cubic lattice). Previous work [1] was concerned with the interaction of atomic hydrogen with iron using first principles calculations. We studied the effect of interstitial hydrogen in the iron lattice and the stress induced by the interstitial hydrogen in the host lattice. In this paper we study the dynamical behaviour of hydrogen inside the iron lattice. Using ab-initio Molecular Dynamics we obtain hydrogen diffusion paths and by taking statistical averages we extract diffusion coefficients from Einstein’s equation. Depending on temperature, the diffusion path involve going through tetrahedral or octahedral sites. Simulations where a number of hydrogens occasionally coincide in one unit cell have been performed to elucidate the effect of interactions between hydrogens.

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Published on 01/01/2010

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