Fracture Analysis

When a product fails through fracture of one of more components, determination of the fracture mechanism is a critical step in the failure analysis process. MEE technical staff are experts in the science and art of fractography.

Steel plate high cycle fatigue fracture

Fracture analysis through characterization of the macroscopic and microscopic fracture features is an indispensable tool for understanding the mechanism (or mode) of fracture and identifying physical conditions of the component that may have contributed to the failure. MEE staff are experts at interpretation of fracture features that determine the fracture mechanism (ductile fracture, fatigue fracture, etc.) and fracture origin locations, as well as provide information about the direction and magnitude of forces that caused the fracture.


Representative fracture analysis projects completed by MEE staff:

  • ATV ball joint - ductile fracture (alloy steel) 
  • Food processing equipment - stress corrosion cracking (stainless steel)
  • Water filter housing - creep rupture (nylon)
  • Boiler superheater tube - elevated temperature rupture (alloy steel)
  • Lever for catheter control - environmental stress cracking (polycarbonate)
  • Car crusher structural support - fatigue fracture (steel)
  • Helicopter rotor control structure - ductile fracture (alloy steel)
  • Large plastic aquarium - adhesive joint failure (acrylic)
  • Fire protection piping - environmental stress cracking (CPVC)
  • Steam turbine blade - fatigue fracture (stainless steel) 
  • Cardiac lead wire - fatigue fracture (cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy)
  • Medical guide wire - fatigue fracture (nickel-titanium alloy - Nitinol)
  • Hip replacement implant - intergranular fracture (cobalt-chromium alloy)
  • Spine support implant - fatigue fracture (titanium alloy)
  • Tee fitting for PEX tubing - stress corrosion cracking (brass)
  • Water softener bypass valve - creep failure (polyacetal)
  • Threaded fastener - hydrogen embrittlement failure (plated steel)
  • Boiler tube - hydrogen damage failure (steel)
  • Threaded tube support - creep rupture (steel)
  • Circuit board solder bond - creep failure (lead-tin alloy)
  • Ferry boat propeller - fatigue fracture (bronze alloy)

Contact us today to learn more.