Forensic Engineering and Metallurgical Failure Analysis

Forensic engineering is the investigation of materials, products, structures  or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing accidents or damage to property. The consequences of failure are dealt with by the law of product liability. The field also deals with retracing processes and procedures leading to accidents in operation of vehicles or machinery. The subject is applied most commonly in civil law cases, although it may be of use in criminal law cases. Generally, the purpose of a forensic engineering investigation is to locate cause or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life of a component, or to assist a court in determining the facts of an accident. It can also involve investigation of  claims, especially patents..

 

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Product Liability Review

  • Intellectual Property Analysis
  • Forensic Engineering  Documentation
  • Metallurgical Expert Witness
  • On Site Engineering Investigation
  • Corrosion Risk Assessment and cathodic Protection
  • Water Corrosivity and Water Treatment
  • Soil Corrosivity
  • Atmospheric corrosion

Metallurgical Testing and  Failure Analysis is the process by which a material engineer determines the mechanism that has caused a component to fail. Typical failure modes involve various types of cracking modes and corrosion attack

Metal components fail as a result of conditions to which they are exposed to as well as the stress that they experience. Often a combination of both environmental conditions and stress will cause failure.

Metal components are designed to withstand the environment and stresses that they will be subjected to. A metallurgist takes into account as much of this information as possible during analysis. The end goal of failure analysis is to provide a determination of the root cause and a solution to any underlying problems to prevent future failures. Failure and damage analysis services include for example: material assessment, metals investigation, fracture study, electronics evaluation, fire damage investigation, design review and many more.

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Analysis of a failed part can be done using destructive  metallurgical testing. Destructive testing involves removing a metal component from service and sectioning the component for analysis. Destructive testing gives our  failure analyst the ability to conduct the analysis in the lab and perform tests on the material that will ultimately destroy the component. Non destructive testing is a test method that allows certain physical properties of metal to be examined without taking the samples completely out of service. NDT is generally used to detect failures in components before the component fails catastrophically.

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Our Capabilities Include:

  • Analysis of Material Failures
  • On-site Investigations
  • Welding, Soldering & Brazing Analysis
  • Chemical and Mechanical Testing(ASTM and NACE)
  • Metallographic Analysis and Investigations
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Engineering Calculations
  • Atmospheric Testing
  • Accident Investigations and Recreation of Failure
  • Plastic & Rubber Investigation
  • Micro and macrophotography
  • Surface Analysis(XPS, AES and SIMS) and FTIR
  • Fractography(SEM and TEM): Fracture Mode Determination
  • FEA and Engineering Mechanics Analysis
  • Corrosion Testing & Investigations (electrochemical and exposure tests)
  • Root-Cause Failure Determination