Failure Analysis / Materials Failure Forensic Investigation

A material’s internal resistance to a force is called stress.  Every material has a maximum stress that it can withstand before it fails. The magnitude of stress that develops in a material as a result of an external force is a function of the magnitude and direction of the force, and the material’s geometry.

Failure occurs when the applied force is greater than anticipated, or the material’s geometry is inadequate, or the material’s strength is inadequate.  Examining these three aspects of a failure can indicate which one(s) are causative.

Material strength can be inadequate due to poor selection of material, due to poor processing (manufacturing defects), or degradation. Degradation can occur due to exposure to corrosive environments or elements, wear, fatigue, etc.

A thorough examination by a qualified materials expert can determine whether the material in your incident was adequate and appropriate for its application … or not.

Heiberg Forensic’s experts use processes such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy  (EDS), and metallographic examination and they bring decades of pertinent experience to every case, to assist you to its resolution.