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Failure Analysis

Failure Analysis

Frequently our consulting services are initiated by the mechanical failure of a product or process, for which we are engaged to identify the causes and possible remedies. Typically a prospective client introduces a new product or modifies an existing product which fails in service. We are contacted, primarily by referral from established clients, by the prospective client and we visit their facility to launch our investigation. As we are introduced to the problem, we develop a plan of attack to identify the causes of the failure and a course of action to remedy the situation.

Traditionally, a failure analysis emanates from the visual inspection of a fractured or damaged component. Such forensic investigations are generally conducted by someone trained as a metallurgist or material scientist. However, failure must be viewed in a sense broader than fracture or deformation and include the failure to perform an anticipated function. A failure analysis should begin with a review of the specifications used in defining the purpose and objective of the product or process.

While we may conduct our preliminary investigation following traditional methods, we often need to quantify our findings by making a critical measurement. Our specialty in making measurements is in the application of strain gages. Furthermore, our measurements are performed by the direct application of strain gages directly to selected components of the component or the machinery which is used to prepare the device. We prefer to apply strain gages directly to the subject component, without any structural modification, to faithfully capture the behavior of the failing member. We also avoid the introduction of any external load cells to make the critical measurement, particularly if they change the load paths of the failing member.

Failure Analysis

Critical Measurement

Product and System Development