Hydrogen in Steel Measurements with the UHV-TPD Workstation

Determination of hydrogen bound in steel is an important factor in developing new steel types for ever more demanding applications.

Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD), also known as Thermal Desorption Spectrometry (TDS) or Thermal Desorption Analysis (TDA) is a well-established technique for analysing the hydrogen content in such samples. Analysis by TPD involves positioning the sample in an Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) chamber and heating the sample at different linear temperature ramp rates while collecting the desorption spectra using a quadrupole mass spectrometer.

In industries such as oil extraction the steels used in deep reservoir drilling presents significant technical challenges. The deeper the reservoir the greater requirement for materials that can perform at higher operating temperatures and pressures. It is not appropriate to simply increasing steel strength for such sub-sea applications because the accompanying microstructure exacerbates the susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement. To produce steel suitable for these harsh environments the toughness and ductility are often sacrificed for strength while the different characteristics are balanced. Therefore the challenge is to improve multiple properties without detriment to others. Additionally, the presence of hydrogen that arises through cathodic protection or the transportation of hot fossil fuels is a major concern and its ingress in to the steel can lead to embrittlement. The Hiden TPD Workstation can be used to determine the quantity and binding strength of the hydrogen trapped in steel samples.

UHV-TPD with Hiden Analytical

Hiden Analytical’s complete experimental UHV-TPD Workstation is equipped with a multiport UHV sample chamber and a heated sample stage of up to 1000 °C with integrated PID controls. An optional cooled sample stage with dry atmosphere glove box introduction system allows liquid N2 cooled samples to be inserted into the system and temperature ramps initiated from -60 °C.  This hardware is equipped with a high precision triple filter analyser, for time/temperature-resolved analysis of desorbed species with unmatched sensitivity and is ideal for hydrogen isotope analysis. This equipment has proven successful in numerous areas of product and technology research and development, including:

  • Thin films
  • Photovoltaics
  • Semiconductors
  • Materials characterisation
  • H2/D2/T characterisation in fusion reactor wall tiles
  • Surface science

The UHV-TPD workstation is geared towards the study of hydrogen in metals for research and development purposes.

UHV-TPD studies are also focused on the outgassing properties of high performance materials used in extreme environments, with fully-automated temperature control and analysis enabling high-throughput TPD measurements of coated silicon surfaces.

UHV-TPD Workstation from Hiden Analytical

Hiden Analytical has been developing, manufacturing, and supplying cutting-edge quadrupole mass spectrometers for some of the most advanced forms of material analysis currently performed. Our UHV-TPD workstation provides a unique solution for advanced electronics manufacturing and research and development into novel energy storage materials.

If you would like any more information about any Hiden Analytical instrument, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.