What is Failure Analysis & When Is It Performed

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Failure analysis is the process of investigating the cause of a materials failure and how to prevent further occurrences.

When metal parts or products don’t hold up as expected or a material failure occurs, it becomes necessary to determine the reason for said failure. A manufacturer will want to know how to correct the issue, whether it is due to the material itself or the process that was applied to make productl (i.e. heat treating, brazing, etc.). The end user will also want to know why the part or product was unable to perform for its intended use. Oftentimes this type of analysis is used as evidence in legal situations.

The Process:

Typical failure analysis investigation begins with a background review of the material prior to the failure. We usually gather background information from our clients about the use of the product, events leading up to the failure and description of the actual failure.

After the background data is collected, our Materials Scientist will evaluate the material using the appropriate testing methods (i.e. mechanical testing, chemical analysis, metallurgical testing, nondestructive testing, etc.). This will help determine the material composition, mechanical properties and any existing defects. These results will aid our Materials Scientist in determining the root cause of the failure; enabling them to make appropriate recommendations to prevent future occurrences.

For further information please visit our website or contact us to receive a quote for your failure analysis project.


  1. We usually find a good failure analysis helps prevent going to litigation.



  2. Thanks for your comment! Yes, you are correct! In some cases preventative analysis wasn't done properly or at all creating the need for litigation.


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