?Metallurgical Failure Analysis describes the course of analyzing the failure of a
metal. A Metallurgical engineer is well equipped to scrutinize a metal product
malfunction. A mishap or failure of a metal component is always complex, whether it
is in a simple consumer product or in a multifaceted component mechanism.
It is hard to figure out the actual ‘cause' of such failures by taking into consideration
just one or two ‘facts' relating to it. The causes may relate to the failure in many
different ways thereby revealing more of the true picture.
A metallurgist's analysis of metallurgical failure include the examination and
documentation of the failure site; when, where and how the failure occurred,
preservation of evidence if accidental failure, standards and library reviews,
engineering calculations, file and data analysis and synthesis, on site photographs and
visual examination, identifying defects non destructively (e.g. ultrasonic, radiography
and magnetic particle inspection), metallographic exams, appropriate chemical
analyses, Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy analysis (EDS analysis), expert witness
testimony, and report preparation. The ultimate objective is to find the ‘root cause' of
the failures, which lies beneath each observation.
Some common causes which lead to metallurgical failure are:
? Failure in design structure
? Insufficient quality assurance
? Insufficient protection / control of the environment
? Casting discontinuities
? Manufacturing defects
? Assembling errors
? Inappropriate maintenance
? Improper material and heat treatments
? Fastener failures
? Unanticipated operating conditions
It is an important regulation in many branches of the manufacturing industry to use
failure analysis as a vital tool to develop new products and improve the existing ones.
The root causes of failure should be chiefly based upon the ‘facts' with regard to the
analysis. This combined with the experience, skills and knowledge of a metallurgist
will lead to sound conclusions and solving of issues at hand and even the ‘seemly
unessential' facts may turn out to be strengths for future metallurgical success.
MSi Testing and Engineering Inc., with its experienced metallurgical engineers,
conducts accurate metallurgical failure analysis in the industries of steel production,
power generation, foundry, forgings, aerospace, boiler / presser vessels, titanium,
railroad, shipbuilding, springs, automotive, farming, heat exchangers, medical implant,
fasteners, food industry equipment, transportation, heat treating, and shafts and
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