Failure Analysis Testing – Cause & Prevention

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Real cause failure analysis testing of metal products utilizes macroscopic and microscopic examination methods, and also other investigative tools including nondestructive testing, mechanical testing and chemical analysis. The failure analysis investigation is focused on the metallurgical aspects of the failure. They typically do not emphasize factors such as stress or load distributions. The steps followed, the order of the steps as well as the failure analysis services performed within a failure investigation can vary depending on the type of failure being investigated.

mechanical failure analysis houston
Collecting and Assembling Background Information
The root cause failure analysis investigation should start by obtaining pay-to-click sites the failure. For example collecting available specifics of the manufacturing, processing, fabricating method, restore history of the failed component. Processing fix records, pertinent codes, specifications and related standards, as well as specifications, drawings, and style criteria should be included. Data should be provided about the material used, mechanical properties, heat treatment, and then for any surface preparation such as cleaning, grinding, plating or painting. The service history includes the date, time, temperature, and environmental conditions of the component.

In addition to collecting the setting information, photographs from the failed component and the failure site must be taken. These photographs will document the location and type of failure and will become part of the permanent record with the failure.

Nondestructive Testing
Nondestructive testing they can be handy in failure investigations, particularly magnetic particle inspection for ferrous metals, liquid penetrant inspection, and ultrasonic inspection. These inspection methods are utilized to detect surface cracks and discontinuities. Radiography is used to examine components for internal discontinuities, like voids and porosity.

Visual Examination
Before the investigator can check out the failed component, it should be isolated and protected from further damage. The component has to be handled carefully and should be sheltered through the corrosive environment to preserve the failure.

Your research should begin with a visual examination of the failure site and part. All observations ought to be recorded or photographed and data must be gathered ahead of the part is cut for destructive testing. The visual examination includes inspection of the fracture faces and crack paths, as well as an assessment of abnormal conditions or abuse the part endured during its service life.

Macroscopic Examination
Macroscopic examination can be an extension of the visual examination and evaluates quality and homogeneity of the part. It is accustomed to determine the origin with the failure and the type of fracture such as ductile, brittle, torsion or fatigue. Macrostructural features enables you to assess internal quality, presence of hydrogen flakes, chemical segregation, hard cases, flow lines and welds.

Mechanical Testing
The mechanical properties of an metal can be used to determine all the different usefulness and the service that can be expected from the material. Mechanical testing services study the strength, ductility and other physical properties of materials under various conditions, like temperature, tension, compression, impact and cargo.

Metallurgical Examination
Metallurgical examination is completed to determine microstructural features such as inclusion content, grain size and rolling direction. Metallographic examination necessitates the use of high magnification microscopy. These examinations might include optical as well as scanning electron microscopy. Optical microscopic examination can be used to determine grain size, microstructure and inclusion type and content. Conversely, scanning electron microscopy is used to discover abnormalities, such as inclusions, segregation, and surface layers, as well as fracture features and, with the use of energy dispersive analysis, can identify inclusion type and corrodents on the fracture face. Microhardness testing is performed to measure case depths, evaluate cold work, determine weld quality and figure out mechanical properties of small parts.

Chemical Analysis
In the failure investigation, chemical analysis is conducted routinely to ensure that the material is what was specified. Along with obtaining the bulk composition with the material to confirm the grade used, it may be necessary to analyze surface contaminants. Chemical analysis is conducted on the base material as well as corrosion products, deposits or coating layers.

Simulation Tests
Often it may be helpful to determine the cause of the failure by means of testing that simulates the conditions under which the failure occurred. The simulation may provide information regarding the suitability of the material to the environment and can also look at the heat treatment or performance with the part in a controlled environment including salt spray. Some kinds of simulation tests require accelerated testing in order to obtain information within a reasonable time. Interpretation of accelerated tests should be done with care as the limitations of the tests must be recognized.

Data Analysis, Conclusions and Report
As soon as the completion of the outlined steps, the investigator must be ready to interpret and summarize the data that has been collected. Some of the work performed may not contribute in determining the root cause of the failure, yet it may be helpful in eliminating some possible causes. Mixed with, the steps that were outlined will, generally, enable the investigator finally the root cause of the failure. The failure analysis report usually supplies the following:

� Description of the failed component
� Conditions at the time of failure
� Background service history
� Mechanical and metallurgical data concerning the failed part
� Evaluation of the material quality
� Discussion of mechanisms that designate the cause of the failure
� Strategies for prevention of future failures and for action to be taken concentrating on the same parts


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