What Went Wrong? Root Cause Failure Analysis Gives You Answers
At times, metal products fail to perform as expected or deteriorate to a point where they are no longer safe to use. The materials engineers at Laboratory Testing Inc. complete root cause failure analysis investigations to help you understand the reason for a failure and to provide insight into preventing similar failures in the future. The engineers in the metallurgical failure analysis lab are also available when an expert witness is needed.
LTI’s failure analysis lab begins each investigation with a background review of the material or parts that failed. Whenever possible, customers provide us with information about the composition and fabrication of the failed item, circumstances leading to the failure and details of the failure event by completing our Failure Analysis Questionnaire.
Based on the type of product and its history, LTI will perform a full metallurgical failure analysis with the necessary testing and inspections to identify the cause of failure. Root cause failure analysis may include any of the wide-range of mechanical testing, metallurgical evaluation, chemical analysis, nondestructive testing or dimensional inspection services performed at our “one-stop” laboratory.
Testing and inspection can determine the chemistry, mechanical properties or the existence of any flaws or inconsistencies to get the structural and behavioral results necessary for a thorough investigation and to uncover the probable root cause of the failure. Top-of-the-line equipment is used throughout the Lab, including our Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (SEM/EDS) system for detailed analysis.
When the failure analysis is completed, customers receive a comprehensive Failure Analysis Report with all findings from the investigation. This Report may include recommended actions to be taken with similar parts or materials to prevent a reoccurrence in the future.
Failure Analysis Process
- Failure Investigation: thorough review of background events leading to failure.
- Testing & Inspection: appropriate materials testing, nondestructive testing or dimensional inspection performed on the failed part.
- Analysis of Test Results: materials engineers analyze all testing and inspection results to identify the root cause of the failure.
- Failure Analysis Report: all findings and recommendations are documented in a comprehensive report. The report will provide the following:
- Description of the failed component
- Conditions at the time of failure
- Background service history
- Mechanical and metallurgical data about the failed part
- Evaluation of the material quality
- Discussion of mechanisms that explain the root cause of the failure
- Recommendations for prevention of future failures or for action to be taken with similar parts