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Conducting the Failure Analysis

Non-Fracture Failures

  • Ductile Deformation
  • Creep
  • Distortion
  • Wear
  • General Corrosion
  • Leakage, e.g., Selective Leaching, Pitting, Crevice Corrosion

Causes of Failure

  • Poor Design
  • Imperfections in Materials
  • Imperfections in Manufacture/Fabrication
  • Overloading/Service Abuse
  • Improper Maintenance or Repair
  • Environmental Effects
  • Combinations of the above

Examination Steps

  • Assemble Background Information
  • Visual Examination of Failure
  • Fractographic Examination
  • Verify Materials Used
  • Determine Mechanical Properties
  • Metallographic Examination (Macro/Micro)
  • Analyze Corrosion Deposits


The articles and presentations that can be down-loaded from this web site are based upon work done by GFV while employed at Bethlehem Steel (1967-1983), Carpenter Technology (1983-1996), Buehler Ltd. (1996-2009) and Struers (2009-Present) and from the authors consulting work for companies such as, Latrobe Steel, Scot Forge, etc., and from his litigation work. GFV's bylined articles appearing in various issues of the ASM Handbook series have been listed here courtesy of ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio.