Comprehensive Failure Analysis Services

Torsional overload resulted in failure of a threaded tubular connection.
Torsional overload resulted in failure of a threaded tubular connection.

High cycle fatigue resulted in failure of an electric actuator worm.
High cycle fatigue resulted in failure of an electric actuator worm.

Root cause of the failure of a tilting disc check valve to close and cause of reactor scram was determined by CFD. Design modifications identified by analysis were implemented and confirmed to eliminate the problem.
Root cause of the failure of a tilting disc check valve to close and cause of reactor scram was determined by CFD. Design modifications identified by analysis were implemented and confirmed to eliminate the problem.

Extensive experience in root cause analysis and testing, augmented by our in-depth understanding of the design and performance aspects of mechanical equipment enables us to provide a complete failure analysis service to our clients.

We often conduct tests in our Houston-area laboratory to deliberately take equipment to failure, in order to support an investigation and confirm failure mechanisms. In some cases the objective of a failure analysis is to improve performance and reliability of the equipment by design modifications that can be retrofitted. We provide complete analysis, testing, technical reporting, and expert witness testimony services to investigate failures in mechanical equipment and structures. Our clients include equipment manufacturers, equipment users, plants, law firms, and insurance companies.

Our staff takes a disciplined approach in identifying whether a failure is caused by design deficiencies, material defects, operational overloads, abuse, misapplication, inadequate maintenance, or use beyond design life.

Failure Analysis Examples

  • Investigation into the failure of drill pipe tool joints in an offshore drilling application
  • Failure of a number of 48″ pipeline flanges and valves at a crude oil tanker loading terminal due to hydraulic transients
  • Failure of a combination friction clutch and brake mechanism in a high speed automatic punch
  • Investigation of a steam turbine that failed by overspeeding
  • Failure of a tilting disc check valve to close upon sudden flow reversal causing a reactor scram at a nuclear power plant
  • Determination of cause of repetitive failures of a feedwater pump impeller shaft
  • Investigation of multiple swing check valve failures during reduced capacity operation
  • Cyclic testing to determine fatigue life of electric motor powered actuators by taking them to failure