Why analyse failure?
By investigating the failure of systems and components, repeat issues can be prevented. We can identify and interpret fractographic clues providing you with the evidence to understand the failure mechanisms.
We have investigated issues across many sectors including energy, aerospace, marine and rail. Key clients have included UK Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), Hamworthy Combustion Engineering Ltd and BAE Systems (military ships).
Common failure mechanisms
- Rolling contact fatigue
- Electrical arcing
What our work can provide
Our work often involves special investigative skills gained through years of experience and knowledge. We can provide:
- Photographic record of state
- Forensic materials engineering
- Macro and micro examination
- Testing of extracted coupon samples
- Characterisation and measurement
- CT (computed tomography) for internal failures
- Professional opinions and expert witness services
Conductivity measurements taken across a heat damaged aluminium aircraft part to determine the intensity of the fire.
Polished cross-sectional view through a bone implant screw to determine extent and type of corrosion damage.
Computed Tomography (CT) view through failed welded aluminium component to determine the crack front position and the condition of the welds.
Macro fractography examination of a failed keel of a yacht. It was identified that the support rods had fractured driven by reverse bending fatigue.
Optical microscope image of an aluminium fracture surface displaying arc shaped beachmarks consistent with fatigue crack propagation.
Scanning electron microscopy
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrograph of a steel surface damaged through cutting wear.
Polished cross-section through a fractured aluminium welded component. The microstructure was revealed through etching with Keller reagent.