Failure Analysis

ETD Consulting offers a comprehensive failure analysis service aimed at the identification of the damage and failure mechanisms (creep, fatigue, corrosion, metal dusting etc.), diagnosis of the root cause of failure, and making recommendations that will minimise the risk of repeat failures

ETD Consulting has a highly qualified team of metallurgists, mechanical engineers and corrosion specialists, with experience in the analysis of component failures in power plant boilers and turbines, oil & refineries, petrochemical and process plant, offshore oil & gas, aerospace and other industries, for a wide range of materials - from plain carbon and low alloy ferritic steels to 9-12%Cr martensitic steels (such as P91), stainless steels, nickel-base alloys and aluminium alloys.

As part of an effective failure investigation, ETD staff may analyse the component operating conditions, maintenance and inspection history, as well as providing expert examination of the failed component/ equipment using proven material characterisation techniques.

A combination of visual examination, Optical, Atomic Force and Scanning Electron Microscopy, as required, may be used to determine the damage and failure mechanisms. Microstructural examination, chemical analysis and mechanical testing, as appropriate, are used to assess the material condition and conformance to specifications.

To support the findings of the failure investigation, ETD Consulting’s team can perform stress analysis, including Finite Element modelling, to establish actual stress levels that may have caused the failure to the  complex component geometries and loading situations. Similarly, fracture mechanics methods can be applied retrospectively, using material properties data, to estimate the cracking rate and time to failure for correlation with the actual observations.

Component failures can be caused by a multitude of factors such as inappropriate material selection, deficiencies in component design, incorrect heat treatment, manufacturing defects, quality assurance problems, welding defects, inappropriate operating parameters, and maintenance and inspection issues. 

ETD Consulting's team of specialists have the expertise to understand the interactions between the failure mechanism(s) and the material, design, operation and maintenance issues, to identify the root cause of failure and thus to make recommendations that will prevent similar damage and repeat failures in the future. 

Recommendations may concern material selection and improvements in component design, quality assurance issues in manufacturing and welding, selection of weld consumables and welding process/parameters, and operating & maintenance practices.