Failure Analysis and Prevention

  • Examination of microstructures for heat treatment, inservice metallurgical stability, deviation from specifications
  • Determination of cracking mechanisms
  • Identification of aggressive media and corrosion products
  • Quantitative evaluation of fractographic features
  • Stress analysis: static and dynamic
  • Fracture mechanics: thresholds, sub-critical crack growth, fracture toughness
  • Lifetime prediction
  • Handling of radioactive materials

A high pressure steam turbine rotor in service for more than thirty years was subjected to remaining life assessment evaluation. Such evaluations are essential in determining how far beyond the design life these rotors can safely and reliably be operated.



Scanning electron microscope is coupled to an image analysis system to study fracture morphology and to perform energy dispersive spectroscopic and image analyses of samples.


For more information on materials and structures, contact Dr. Ben H. Thacker, Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-3896, Fax (210) 522-6965.

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