Failure Analysis & Materials Science

Failure analysis is rooted in materials science and product design. Materials scientists are essential to understanding the functional limits of the subject materials, while product engineers are crucial for understanding the intended use and anticipated misuse of the product in question. Robson Forensic provides sophisticated, scientifically rigorous failure analyses involving a broad range of products and materials.

The Consequences of Failure

The failure of a consumer product, industrial machine, or medical device can often be tracked back to the failure of an individual component or material. In the majority of failures the consequences are small, a machine needs repair, a car goes to the shop, or an appliance gets replaced. In some instances, however, the consequences are dire; an industrial machine explodes, a car stalls in an intersection, or a gas dryer starts a fire.

Our experts in materials science and failure analysis are frequently retained when the consequences are dire. Our experts typically perform an inspection to determine how and why the failure occurred, and whether or not it should have been noticed and remediated prior to the mishap.

Determining How and Why Materials Fail

Failure analysis covers an incredibly broad range of industries, materials, and equipment. Our investigations often involve consumer products, manufacturing equipment, commercial equipment, natural systems such as trees and rock beds, as well as medical equipment and implantable devices.

Our experts apply a rigorous scientific approach to determine the failure mode as well as how the failure occurred, how the failure appeared over time, and whether the failure was due to misuse, a material defect, a manufacturing defect, or a design defect.

We assist with the following procedures and processes:

  • Root cause failure analysis
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Fatigue testing
  • Metallurgical analysis
  • Welding, soldering & brazing
  • Ductile and brittle fractures
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Analysis of stress corrosion cracking
  • Surface analysis (SEM, FTIR, X-Ray)
  • X-Ray analysis
  • Micro & macro-photography
  • Failure mode analysis

Materials Science Evidence & Testing

Robson Forensic offers a fully appointed mechanical testing laboratory to assist our clients with the inspection of evidence in materials science cases. Our lab facilities can accommodate large evidence items and are equipped to host a variety of test procedures. Visit our Mechanical Testing Laboratory page for more information.

DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH AN EXPERT

Call or submit an inquiry to tell us about your case. Once we determine which expert is best qualified to assist, we will put you in direct contact.