TWI carries out hundreds of failure investigations for our Member companies each year, analysing components ranging in size from precision medical instruments to full-scale pipeline sections.
When a part fails in service, the consequences can range from a temporary reduction in productivity to a complete shutdown and even serious injury. Understanding how and why a failure occurred is critical to reduce the likelihood of a repeat event.
In order to conduct a failure analysis, TWI assembles a team of engineers tailored precisely to the type of project being undertaken. With hundreds of integrity management specialists, covering every aspect of failure investigation, we can bring together the right people to identify the cause of a component’s failure and recommend appropriate steps to minimise the risk of a reoccurrence.
Whatever the nature of the failure, and however small or large, TWI has the capability and the experience to respond quickly and carry out a conclusive investigation into what went wrong. Our investigations are undertaken in strict confidence and often begin with an on-site failure assessment before more thorough testing is carried out at one of our fully equipped facilities.
TWI has conducted thousands of failure investigations for some of the world’s largest industrial companies.
The failure analysis process often involves:
- Interpretation of the failure location and service data, including on-site review
- Examination of the parts to determine the failure mechanism(s)
- Root cause analysis, including design, fabrication, transportation, installation and service
- Simulation of the service conditions to establish critical parameters at which failure will occur
- Definition of safe conditions for remaining intact components
- Establishment of a non-destructive evaluation strategy for the remaining components
- Remedial advice for the avoidance of further failures, including design and fabrication reviews for replacement components and mitigation strategies for existing components.
Our techniques include mechanical testing, non-destructive testing, environmental testing, chemical analysis and hydrogen measurement as well as fractography, metallography and a forensic investigation in support of any legal claims.
Material characterisation is also often an important part of a failure analysis. Our materials scientists and specialists exploit a comprehensive range of cutting-edge testing equipment to carry out advanced analysis work and make accurate diagnoses.