Material failure analysis

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Breakages and failures in products and equipment can come unexpectedly and finding the root cause can be very difficult. We can help you to investigate equipment made from stainless steel and other high performance alloys. This gives a good understanding of whether the problem encountered is related to material properties, equipment or process design.

Analyzing the material can provide information about what conditions the material has been exposed to. It is comparable to a forensic investigation at a crime scene - it can give you important clues to what has happened and in some cases also find the perpetrator.

We have one of the world's largest research and testing facilities for stainless steels, located in Sandviken, Sweden.

Failure types

Equipment can be affected by a number of failures, such as:

  • Corrosion (wet and high temperature)
  • Erosion and wear
  • Cracking
  • Creep (high temperature)
  • Fatigue (static and dynamic load)
  • Deformation
  • Welding issues

Test and assessment program

The analysis process can vary slightly from case to case, but a common procedure is:

  1. You send a material sample to us
  2. Material experts at one of our labs conduct a visual inspection
  3. Creation of test and analysis programs
  4. Sample preparation (cutting, machining, etc.)
  5. Material identification (PMI-testing, material certification and specification validation)
  6. Execution of a project specific analysis program, normally including advanced microscopy technology such as SEM
  7. Writing of a technical report, based on findings from tests, investigations and assessments about the material failure mechanisms from our group of experts
  8. You receive a technical report explaining why the material failed and recommended actions to prevent future material failures

Other material investigation services provided by Sandvik:

  • Material condition assessment
  • Lifetime investigation support
  • Material and quality verification

Do you have a piece of failed equipment made of stainless steel or another high performance alloy, or do you need to investigate the condition of a material?

Contact us for material investigation services.