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We can help with your materials related projects....


Detailed examination of bent, broken, or corroded parts can generally provide considerable evidence of the cause of failure.  Evidence of static and dynamic overload, overheating, the type and direction of stress, material flaws or defects, the role of welding or corrosion, and other factors contributing to failure can generally be identified from a careful examination by an experienced investigator.  Our failure analysis services often include the techniques listed below:


Non-destructive inspection, including visual, dye penetrant, and magnetic particle inspection, ultrasonic inspection, and radiographic examination.


Dimensional inspection, including CMM or non-contact inspection.


Mechanical testing, including hardness/microhardness, tensile testing, Charpy impact testing, etc.


Chemical analysis of alloys, contaminants, and corrodants.


Scanning electron microscope examination of fracture surfaces.


Metallographic examination of cross sections.


Review of the failure circumstances.


Report writing.  



Materials and manufacturing methods for most engineering components can be determined by a careful analysis. Dimensional inspection, chemical analysis, and mechanical testing can often provide information sufficient to create a material specification and to specify a manufacturing process.  Our extensive experience and familiarity with many manufacturing processes including casting, forging, welding, heat treating, plating, machining, and other technologies allows us to identify the materials and manufacturing processes that were used to produce a component.





Our familiarity with available metals and alloys allows us to recommend materials for applications ranging from artificial hips to bulldozer blades.




Reliable service lives of components ranging from bridges to boiler tubes can often be characterized by a combination of non-destructive and limited destructive testing.  We use metallographic replication to characterize the extent of creep damage and overheating in steam piping, valve bodies, and boiler tubes.  Our magnetic particle and dye penetrant inspections can monitor crack growth to allow continued service of damaged machinery.  Quantitative estimation of stress rupture and fatigue lives can be provided from stress data, temperature data, dimensional inspection, and material property determination.  



Excessive distortion, non-metallic inclusions, porosity, cracking, incomplete weld metal penetration, low hardness or tensile strength, and other material problems can result in costly scrap. Metallurgical analysis of penetrant indications, radiographic indications, etc. or review of manufacturing methods can help identify and reduce or eliminate the causes of scrap. We frequently work with manufacturers to identify the causes of non-conformant material and increase manufacturing yields.


Laboratory Capabilities


Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

  • Secondary and backscattered electron imaging

Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX)

  • Semi-quantitative chemistry

  • Elemental x-ray mapping

Light Microscopy

  • Reflected light microscopy

  • Transmitted light microscopy

  • Dark field

  • Bright field

  • DIC illumination

  • Quantitative image analysis



Non-Destructive Testing

Penetrant inspection

  • Red dye

  • Fluorescent

Magnetic particle inspection

Ultrasonic thickness measurement

X-ray Fluorescence

Optical Profilometry

Video Probe Inspection


Metallographic Sample Preparation

Hot and cold mounting

Mechanical and electro-polishing

Chemical etching

Electrolytic etching

esting (NDT)

Hardness Testing







Vertical and horizontal band saws

Diamond wafering saw

Water cooled abrasive cut off





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