Category Archives: Fatigue Failure

Thermal Fatigue Case Study

posted August 2020

A MEE case study on Thermal Fatigue has been added to our website. Our intent for these case studies is to provide you with a better understanding of what we do and how we approach typical projects at MEE. Each case study is taken from our files and has been edited to present a more casual writing style than our formal reports, but generally follows the structure of our reports and gives an overview of the findings and conclusions from an investigation.

Fracture features

Fracture surface of interior cracks (top) and exterior cracks (bottom)

While on our website, check out our Handbook of Analytical Methods for Materials (HAMM).  Topics in the handbook include the analytical methods available in our laboratory, as well as, other common materials characterization techniques we use to find solutions to our customers’ materials-related problems.


Nitinol Seminar

posted March 2020
Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke

Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke, P.E.

Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke attended a one day seminar about Nitinol and how its unique properties apply to medical devices and designs. The primary topics for the seminar included structure, processing, mechanical properties, corrosion behavior, and fatigue life of Nitinol. MEE has been helping medical device manufacturers to successfully use Nitinol in their products for almost 25 years. Even with years of experience, MEE staff continually seeks out educational opportunities to keep up with the latest research on this intriguing material.

Some of the most interesting and challenging projects at MEE are the forensic engineering cases. Forensic engineering is application of engineering principles to the investigation of incidents that have or may lead to litigation or other dispute resolution venues. Engineers at MEE practice specifically in the areas of forensic metallurgical engineering or forensic materials engineering. This work typically involves the investigation of failures in structures, products, or components in support of product liability litigation. Our expertise in materials behavior and failure analysis make our staff well qualified for these investigations. The emphasis that we place on clear communication of our findings to our industrial customers serves us well when our engineers are asked to assist the court by testifying in deposition or a trial.

Go to our website to see  a short list of  forensic engineering cases at MEE

Fatigue fracture of improperly-repaired truck trailer side rail

Fatigue fracture of improperly-repaired truck trailer side rail


Stress corrosion cracking in a chemical storage tank, hydrogen damage in a boiler tube, fatigue fracture in titanium sternal plates are just a few of the case studies on our website.   They were specifically chosen to highlight the variety of projects we see in our laboratory and more importantly, demonstrate the thorough, analytical approach we take on all of our projects.

Engineering Consulting_Failure_

Blade failure on wind generator

The goal of a failure analysis is to determine the how and why of a failure.  Laboratory testing at MEE, which may include scanning electron microscopy, Rockwell hardness testing, corrosion testing,  and metallographic evaluation  can help us get answers to the how and why but we also like to work with our client to answer the question of “now what”  in order to minimize future risk of failure.