Failure Investigation is the process of understanding the key attributes of a particular failure and identifying the likely causes of failure.

Failure investigation is an important tool for feeding back information to improve asset operational performance. Most operators and companies have a formal process for failure investigation where important findings are fed back into the system to improve future integrity and reliability.

There are often many possible reasons why engineering components fail in service, meaning that the cause and mechanisms of failure can only be determined with the right combination of analytical equipment and experienced engineers. As such, we can assemble a team of engineers tailored precisely to the nature of the material, application and service conditions, to identify the cause of the failure.

As a fully independent lab, we are well positioned to provide that service; to either conduct the failure investigation on your behalf, supplement or corroborate your internal findings or conduct the investigation and present the findings if the case goes to litigation.

We have been involved with a large number of failure investigations and have used the experience to improve our own approaches to conducting and presenting our findings.

Our services include:

  • Independent investigation into the cause of the failure
  • Laboratory testing of failed components
  • Forensic engineering
  • Expert witness testimony for insurance, accident investigation and product liability

Our experience, covers a number of industry sectors including:

  • Marine & Maritime
  • Energy (Power Generation, Renewable Energy, Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals)
  • Transport (Automotive and Rail)
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Manufacturing & Recycling

Specific examples include:

  • Marine engine parts, including components such as fuel pumps, exhaust valves, piston crowns etc
  • Crankshafts
  • Casting defects
  • Umbilical hoses
  • Rolling stock
  • Bearing failures
  • Off-specification metals
  • Weld failures
  • Container lashing equipment failures
  • Bolts and mechanical fastenings
  • Mechanical equipment: cranes, wire rope, gears
  • Paint & coating analysis etc

The strengths of our team lie in solving service failures with the following primary failure modes and their causes. We have been involved in cases covering the following damage mechanisms:

  • Deformation and distortion
  • Fracture and separation
    • ductile fractures
    • brittle fractures
    • fatigue fractures
    • environmentally affected fractures
  • Surface and material changes
    • uniform corrosion
    • pitting corrosion
    • intergranular corrosion
    • wear
  • Stress-corrosion cracking
  • Hydrogen damage
  • Corrosion fatigue
  • Elevated temperature failures
    • creep
    • stress rupture

We cover all materials from metallic to non-metallic and mixed material failures.

Find out more about The Lab’s failure investigations capabilities.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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