Failure analysis and replica investigation

Changes in material structure and eventual failure are issues that every company has to deal with. Whether it is rather on the utilities side (such as cooling water or steam), or on the process side, it is important to identify degradation or failure in time and investigate the cause thoroughly. Only then can the right measures be taken to prevent further degradation or failure.

FAILURE ANALYSIS

Installations, devices or pipelines fail for many reasons. To take the right measures it is necessary to know the root cause of failure. This can be done by means of a failure analysis by which we select the right techniques to get to the real cause of failure.

A failure analysis typically starts with a visual examination of the failed component. We study the morphology of the deterioration, possibly take a sample of the deposit/corrosion products for analysis by SEM-EDX and/or FTIR spectroscopy, and select a zone or several zones for cross-sectional examination. 

Fracture surfaces are examined by SEM microscopy. If microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) is suspected, specific tests are performed for that as well.

Our experts compile the results of the various investigations and formulate a root cause as well as recommendations to prevent failure in the future.

Benefits of failure analysis:

  • Knowledge of the actual root cause of failure.
  • Advice on how to prevent failure in the future.

REPLICA INVESTIGATION

Materials are subject to numerous exposure conditions. As a result, the material structure (microstructure) and thus the material properties may change. To examine the condition of a material on site, we can perform a replica investigation. This involves taking an impression of the microstructure to check, among other things, whether:

  • Phase changes or precipitations have occurred in the material;
  • The material exhibits creep damage;
  • The material contains microcracks.

Before an impression of the microstructure is taken, the surface is lightly sanded and polished. The structure is then etched and an impression taken. Since only a very thin surface layer is removed, the technique is almost non-destructive. After an impression has been taken, it is further examined using a light microscope. The entire examination can take place on the spot so that you can obtain immediate results.

Benefits of replica investigation:

  • Quasi non-destructive;
  • Rapid technique, immediate results;
  • Knowledge of material condition and presence or absence of microdefects.

Inspections

We have experienced engineers and inspectors in-house to perform on-site visual inspections. The main goal of inspections on demand of the client is to map the condition of an installation or to establish [...]

Materials selection

Based on our specific knowledge and many years of experience in corrosion studies, corrosion testing and failure analyses METALogic can assist you in selecting the most appropriate material for your [...]

On-site support

METALogic can provide (qualitative) support at the client, which is typically longer term support. Project engineers in different disciplines can: Manage inspections of the installations and piping [...]

Corrosion studies

A corrosion study or a failure mechanism study gives the user essential knowledge on integrity of the installation by determining and listing potential failure mechanisms. The output of a failure mechanism [...]

Acoustic emission

Integrity measurement by means of acoustic emission By means of an acoustic emission test with elevated pressure the integrity of your vessel is investigated. This acoustic emission test ensures 100% [...]

Risk-based inspection (RBI)

To map the whole tangle of piping and equipment on a site and make inspection of these manageable, METALogic suggests its RBI approach. By performing a profound study of potential failure mechanisms by [...]

Failure analysis

Our team of experts have in-depth knowledge and many years of experience in failure analysis and is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories. METALogic goes to the limit to solve your [...]

Corrosion tests

Testing of corrosion in our laboratory is mainly done by exposure testing and/or by electrochemical tests (cyclic polarization measurements). Exposure tests are closest to reality and therefore yield the [...]

Controls according to VLAREM

METALogic employs recognized environmental experts in the discipline of soil corrosion as well as gases and hazardous substances that can perform the limited or general legal investigation. Our experts [...]

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