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MSL can provide in-depth and comprehensive metallurgical failure analysis. On-site facilities are also available. Aspects of evaluation include

  • Microscopic examination of fracture surfaces
  • Preparation of metallurgical sections
  • Examination and analysis of metallography sections
  • Determination of fracture type e.g.
    • Ductile fracture
    • Transgranular brittle fracture
    • Intergranular brittle fracture
    • Fatigue failure
    • Stress corrosion cracking
    • Liquid metal embrittlement
    • Creep and stress rupture failure
    • Hydrogen embrittlement
    • Chemical analysis ie: Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)
    • EDAX can be carried out.

Additionally the we have expertise in fracture mechanics, friction and wear analysis and can offer a wide range of mechanical testing facilities.

Failure of a metal structure or component part is a general term used to imply that in service one of the following has occurred.

  1. The system has become completely inoperable.
  2. The system is still operable but is incapable of performing its intended function.
  3. The system has deteriorated seriously to an extent that it has become unreliable or unsafe for continued use.

Ultimately any failure requires analysis to identify the cause and mode of failure. The objective of any failure investigation is to determine the primary cause of a failure and offer advice on corrective measures to be undertaken to prevent a repetition of the failure.

MSL have the resources, equipment and metallurgical expertise to undertake a full, detailed investigation and analysis of most types of metallurgical failure.

At MSL we have the ability to undertake all stages of the analytical process including

  • Non-destructive testing
  • Mechanical Testing including: Tensile, Charpy and Izod
  • Hardness Testing
  • Macroscopic examination and analysis of fracture surfaces, surface cracks etc
  • Microscopic examination and analysis.
  • Metallography.
  • Fractography using optical macro and SEM
  • Determination of failure mechanism ie; ductile, brittle, fatigue, corrosion, wear, creep
  • Chemical analysis ie; bulk, local, coating, corrosion products.
  • Analysis of fracture mechanics.
  • Simulated service testing ie; torsion, wear, corrosion
  • Analysis of all evidence, formulation of conclusions, report writing and recommendations.

Over the years we have undertaken numerous failure investigations including failures of shafts, bearings, lifting equipment, springs, tool steels, mechanical fasteners, bolts, heat ex-changers, bridge components, rail parts, axles and gears.

Expert Report Writing

Our vast array of metallurgical testing equipment in association with mechanical, microscopic, chemical analysis enables us to offer an excellent report writing service. The high level of technical expertise in conjunction with many years of experience in failure investigations enables us to produce high quality, clear, concise, expert advice and reports

We fully appreciate the needs of a quick response to a problem. Whenever possible our investigations and subsequent analysis will determine the primary cause of the failure and we will offer expert advice on subsequent corrective actions to prevent subsequent failures. We also offer expert witness services for litigation cases.

The reports cover varying topics which include:

  • Failure analysis – To establish the cause of failures and when possible put forward precautions and process to prevent future failures.
  • Material recommendation – Consultation with regards to material selection and fit for purpose
  • Processes – Consultation which would help determine the best process of the material selected e.g. heat treatment, powder metallurgy.
  • Quality Improvement – Evaluate the current systems and advise on improvements
  • External auditing – Reviews of currents systems and processes.

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