Category Archives: fracture analysis

Failure Analysis Seminar

posted August 2019

Senior Materials Engineer, Dan Grice, P.E., presented a two day seminar on Fractography and Failure Analysis at the office of one of our industrial customers.  The seminar covered technical information on fracture mechanisms and analysis through characterization of the macroscopic and microscopic fracture features.  Dan’s presentation included multiple case studies to provide a practical understanding of the analytical methods and laboratory tools a materials engineer uses in the failure analysis process.

Fractography and Failure Analysis Seminar




Materials Science Education

posted November 2018

This week, MEE hosted University of St Thomas Materials Science students in our laboratory. Students toured our metallography and light microscopy labs and were presented a brief introduction to scanning electron microscopy.

Staff engineer, Neal Hanke, arranged a display of some representative failure analysis projects to demonstrate the range of materials and failure modes we have investigated in our lab.

Another Way to Look at Things…

posted December 2015

We just purchased a research grade Olympus SZX16 stereo microscope equipped with a super high resolution, digital, micro-imaging camera.  This is an excellent addition to our light microscopy laboratory. With easy shifting from macro-view to micro-view,  it is a specialized and powerful tool for fracture examination, corrosion studies and general failure analysis.

We’re looking forward to putting our newest microscope to work.

Olympus SZX16 stereo microscope with digital camera.

Olympus SZX16 Stereo Microscope with digital camera.

Drop a ceramic vase at home and what is the first thing you do with the pieces? You try to put them back together.

In the world of fracture analysis, do not try to fit the two fracture halves together as this will damage critical surface features, even fractures of hard or high strength metals. Simply touching mating fracture surfaces together after a failure will destroy microscopic fracture features that may be key to a conclusive determination of the fracture mode.

Don’t Touch is the first of MEE’s ten commandments of sample preservation and handling. The other nine commandments and  specific guidelines for the handling of fractures is in the last chapter of our online Handbook of Analytical Methods for Materials.

Contact our analytical laboratory if you have more specific questions about sample handling and preservation, and for shipping recommendations.

Fracture surface of a logging chain that broke. This is a giant chain: each chain link was about 1 1/4" in diameter.

Fracture surface of a logging chain that broke. This is a giant chain: each chain link was about 1 1/4″ in diameter.