Forensic Engineering / Metallurgical Failure Analysis

Forensic engineering analysis of ruptured tank cars after a derailment
Forensic engineering of a ruptured pressurized rail tank car.
Fishmouth fracture of boiler tube
“Fishmouth” Rupture of a Boiler Feed Water Tube

Forensic Engineering is the application of the art and science of engineering towards failure analysis and accident investigations. Forensic engineering provides solutions to the cause of the failure and/or accident and makes recommendations based on standards and sound engineering practice in an attempt to prevent future failures from occurring.

Testlabs International Ltd. engineers routinely perform forensic engineering in the fields of:

  • Metallurgical Failure Analysis (failure of metallic components)
  • Polymeric Failure Analysis (failure of plastic components)
  • Protective Coating Failures
  • Corrosion Engineering

Representative failures that we have analyzed include those occurring due to:

  • fatigue
  • stress overload
  • creep and stress rupture
  • corrosion related failure (see corrosion engineering)
  • wear failures
    • fretting
    • spalling
    • galling
    • cavitation
    • rolling contact fatigue
  • brittle fracture
  • poor design
  • poor heat treatment
  • poor mechanical properties
  • Poor material selection
  • Combination of mismatched dissimilar materials