Failure analysis is a complex careful examination supported by multiple laboratory techniques used to reveal problem causes followed by solution implementation. This contributes to identifying how and why components failed: manufacturing failure, use and maintenance and/or design failure. Failure analysis is important as a very powerful tool to reduce maintenance costs, increase the system useful life, reduce economic and human losses not to mention even sometimes making a significant contribution to major technology breakthrough in components.
TECNALIA failure analysis laboratory has over 20 years’ experience performing part breakage autopsy or failure analysis. Studies carried out by its failure analysis team of experts cover: mechanical type (fatigue-fracture) failures; corrosion; erosion-friction-wearing and high temperature; metal components; plastics; composites, ceramics; welding, painting and coatings. These studies are normally contracted by companies from different industry segments, insurance companies or experts. Regardless of the customer, the need is always the same: find out the reason for the failure. Once TECNALIA determines the failure causes, each customer may use the analysis for different purposes: production companies normally use it to implement corrective actions to prevent failure recurring; whereas insurance companies or loss adjustment experts use it to clarify loss liability.
Some companies which usually contract these technological services from TECNALIA include: manufacturers, equipment users, distributors, equipment maintenance companies, etc. Thanks to its analysis technique competence, TECNALIA is able to carry out any type of study, without the need to subcontract (mechanical tests, metallography, chemical analysis, FEM, etc.). In addition to this, TECNALIA has vast experience in the most demanded sectors of the current market.
Moreover, TECNALIA would like to highlight that once the failure cause is determined, a growing number of companies ask TECNALIA to ascertain the situation of damaged components in real time. This is used to replace faulty components prior to catastrophic breakages and to exploit component life risk free. This is known as Remaining Useful Life (RUL) analysis and is often requested when high value components are involved. With this analysis, inspection plans to control damage at early stages can be implemented and when damage reaches a critical point part replacement can be recommended.