Metallurgical & Materials Analysis
DTB can provide a wide range of analyses using our in-house facilities and expertise, as well as our strategic partnerships. Discuss your needs with us! Together, we can develop innovative and highly practical solutions.
Some of our Metallurgical Services:
- Microstructural analysis
- Macro- and micro-fractography
Our laboratory has conducted hundreds of complex failure investigations using a wide range of tools, techniques, and in-house interdisciplinary engineering expertise. We have put into place a well-developed and highly structured failure investigation process that successfully guards against missed clues and overlooks.
Our failure analysis reports provide a highly detailed, yet focused, description of how the root cause failure cascade (RCFC) was constructed, including the logic behind the eliminating factors that did not participate in the root cause. The result is an actionable RCFC with practical pathways for failure mitigation, including maintenance interventions.
Corrosion Testing & Analysis
DTB has a high level of expertise in solving a wide range of corrosion problems. In us, you will find a partner that is highly responsive to your programmatic needs – one that will provide you with robust, innovative, cost-effective, and timely solutions.
We analyze all types of corrosion damage, including general, pitting, intergranular or exfoliation, crevice, filiform, galvanic, stress corrosion cracking (SCC), and corrosion fatigue (CF).
DTB’s specialized corrosion test facilities can be used to concurrently expose multiple configurations to a variety of corrosive atmospheres and mechanical stress, including fatigue profiles. We have also developed advanced test-and-analysis protocols for these facilities in order to provide quantitative, comparative, and actionable corrosion data.
Macro- & Micro-Fractographic Characterization
All metallic fracture surfaces leave a “signature” that can be discerned using the proper tools, techniques, and expertise. For fractographic analysis at the macro-level, stereomicroscopes are most commonly employed; at the micro-level, a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) is used – the latter is especially used when corrosion involvement is suspected.
For many failure investigations, such analyses provide the means by which many of the potential failure modes can be quickly eliminated and the primary mode can be determined for constructing the most probable root cause failure cascade (RCFC).
Advanced fractographic analysis of fatigue fractures can be used to determine the time-to-fracture initiation, from which key parameters, such as safe life and maintenance intervals, may be deduced. The determination of site(s) of fracture initiation can also provide critical information with respect to relatively simple and practical mitigation measures. For example, a determination that fracture initiation was associated with surface grinding marks or a sharp transition radius would turn the focus on blending and shot peening for significant increases in component life.
At DTB, we have the tools, techniques, and proven expertise to perform highly complex fractographic analyses. We have used such analyses to construct RCFCs for over 150 investigations. We have additionally performed hundreds of fractographic analyses to confirm or deny various assumed failure modes.
Plating, Coating, & Surface Evaluations
DTB’s metallurgical/materials laboratory analyzes all types of plated/coated surfaces for composition, hardness, and microstructure using both non-destructive and destructive techniques, as appropriate. Evaluation of shot peening and other surface treatments, such as passivation, are also routinely performed.
Analyses of surface treatment defects, such as debonds, crack initiation in the coating, propagation into the bulk (hard anodize and hard chrome), peeling, and susceptibility to corrosion, are typically carried out as part of our failure or conformance-to-requirements investigations.
Weld, Braze, & Solder Analysis
DTB performs evaluations on various weld types, such as resistance, TIG, and electron-beam welding; explosively-bonded joints; brazing processes; solders; and AWS conformance.
We also provide consulting services for weld process optimization/troubleshooting.