Metallurgical Consulting & Material Analysis

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Early metallurgists studied the fracture surfaces of broken test coupons to determine if the casting was proper. Today's microscopes, spectrographic analysis, and mechanical testing provide for a more extensive analysis of metals and non-metals. The scientific field of metallurgy and materials is important beyond failure analysis for evaluating performance in high temperatures, evaluating heat treatment, and resolving problems in quality control.

Microstructure of materials and their mechanical properties are closely related. This is very important in the heat treatment of steel. Two facilities heat treating a given steel can produce very different mechanical properties even though the heat treatment and alloy are nominally the same. Training and experience in metallographic evaluation plus knowledge of heat treatment can explain the critical differences in behavior. The same is true for casting problems. Mold design and pouring practice can affect the final casting properties. Old airplanes still in service may require new parts to be made from old drawings. But rejection criteria may have changed. Good metallurgical training and experience can help to resolve reject issues.

Knowledge of metallurgy and materials plus experience in stress analysis and an understanding of the overall problem can sometimes help to identify the real source of trouble as not involving the material itself. Poor looking welds or a material not quite in specification can often blind investigators as to the real cause of failure of problems in production. One client thought they needed a better alloy to beat the competition. They did have numerous field failures. Some of their parts actually exceeded the competition. The real problem was failure to control the heat treatment to produce consistent results.

Metallurgical Consulting & Material Analysis Capabilities

Materials Science
Fracture Mechanics
Stress Analysis
Strain Gauge Testing
Fatigue Analysis
Full Root Cause Failure Analysis
Product Areas
Pressure Vessels
Paper Industry
Chemical Process Industry
Power Generation
Since 1973
Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope
X ray with SEM
Hydraulic Ram for full Scale Tests
Load Cells
Multi-Channel High Speed Data Acquisition
DC&AC Corrosion Testing Equipment
Optical Microscopes
Specimen Preparation Equipment
Information to Work from
Engineering Drawings & Specifications
Service History
Exemplars or Similar Situations
Service Environment
Failure Determination
Fracture Surface Analysis
Microstructural Analysis
Non-Destructive Evaluations
Stress Analysis
Industry Focus
Ship Building
Power Generation
Oil Field
Types of Experience
Casting analysis
Welding issues
High temperature failures
Estimate fire temperatures
Set up quality control
Fitness for service
Unusual material problems
Corrosion/cracking issues
Coating failures
Heat treat issues

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