Austenitic stainless steels have been extensively tested in hydrogen environments. These studies have identified the relative effects of numerous materials and environmental variables on hydrogen-assisted fracture. While there is concern that welds are more sensitive to environmental effects than the non-welded base material, in general, there have been relatively few studies of the effects of gaseous hydrogen on the fracture and fatigue resistance of welded microstructures. The majority of published studies have considered welds with geometries significantly different from the welds produced in assembling pressure manifolds. In this study, conventional, uniaxial tensile testing was used to characterize tubing of type 316L austenitic stainless steel with an outside diameter of 6.35 mm. Additionally, orbital tube welds were produced and tested to compare to the non-welded tubing. The effects of internal hydrogen were studied after saturating the tubes and orbital welds with hydrogen by exposure to high-pressure gaseous hydrogen at elevated temperature. The effects of hydrogen on the ductility of the tubing and the orbital tube welds were found to be similar to the effects observed in previous studies of type 316L austenitic stainless steels.

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