The effects of hydrogen on the physical and mechanical properties of iron and steel are reviewed. A new mechanism for the cold work peak for hydrogen in iron is considered. Together, internal friction and mechanical properties indicate that hydrogen softens iron by enhancing screw dislocation mobility at room temperature but hardens iron by core interactions at low temperatures. No single mechanism exists for the degradation of the properties of steel by hydrogen. Instead a complex process involving many of the proposed mechanisms as contributing factors is shown to account for most degradation phenomena.
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