Failure Analysis

Examining Cause and Effect

Piping with fish mouth failure along its lengthWhen material failure becomes an issue, Baker Testing is prepared to investigate and provide failure analysis inspection services.        

Failure Analysis is commonly used to identify:

  • Welding Defects
  • Fatigue Cracks from Cyclical Loading
  • Improper Heat Treatment
  • Design Flaws
  • Corrosion
  • Material and Metals Identification

Applications for Failure Analysis 

Materials imaging and analysis has many applications including:

  • electronic component testing for fire investigations
  • investigations of manufactured product components
  • structural steel inspection for buildings and bridges
  • medical device inspection
  • storage and tank inspection
  • piping for power generation

Inspection Methods

Failure Analysis draws from multiple inspection methods depending on the application.

Metallurgy

In addition to our trained technicians, we combine our expertise and capabilities with the authority and advanced technical support of MIT metallurgical staff and facilities. 

Metallurgy examines the physical and chemical behaviors of metal using Scanning Electron Microscopy to examine and analyze grain structure. Metallurgy can be used to identify brittle or ductile metals from improper heat treatment or other origins of fractures. Macro-etch weld exams are available for inspecting the structure and characteristics of the metal from its forming process.

Conventional Ultrasound

For failure analysis and life expectancy considerations, ultrasound provides information on material thickness, often used to identify corrosion or other causes where material is lost, and material voids and discontinuities.

Radiography

X-ray is used during failure analysis to identify flaws and discontinuities such as cracks, inclusions, gas pockets, and laps.

Failure Analysis Reporting

Depending on the nature of the inspection, Baker Testing will document the analysis performed, inspection results, material composition and structure, causes of failure, and possible future preventative actions.