Metallurgical Failure Analysis

Metallurgical Failure Analysis

Techniques and Case Studies

1st Edition - January 3, 2018

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  • Author: Kannadi Palankeezhe Balan
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128143360
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128143377

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Metallurgical Failure Analysis: Techniques and Case Studies explores how components fail and what measures should be taken to avoid future failures. The book introduces the subject of failure analysis; covers the fundamentals and methodology of failure analysis, including fracture and fractography of metals and alloys and the tools and techniques used in a failure investigation; examines 37 case studies on high performance engineering components; features experimental results comprised of visual-, fractographic-, or metallographic- examination, hardness measurements and chemical analysis; includes illustrations and evidence obtained through test results to enhance understanding; and suggests suitable remedial measures when possible. The various case studies are classified according to the major causes of failures. The case studies pertain to: Improper Material Selection, Manufacturing Defects, Casting Defects, Overload, Fatigue, Corrosion Induced Failures, Hydrogen Embrittlement and Stress Corrosion Cracking, Wear and Elevated Temperature Failures. The book contains information gathered over three decades of the author’s experience handling a variety of failure cases and will go a long way toward inspiring practicing failure analysts. The book is designed for scientists, metallurgists, engineers, quality control inspectors, professors and students alike.

Key Features

  • Explores the fundamentals and methodology of failure analysis
  • Examines the major causes of component failures
  • Teaches a systematic approach to investigation to determine the cause of a failure
  • Features 37 case studies on high performance engineering components


Practicing failure analysts, Scientists, metallurgists, engineers, quality control inspectors, professors and students of mechanical, material science and metallurgical engineering courses

Table of Contents

  • Part1- Fundamentals and Methodology

    1 Introduction

    2 Fracture

    2.1 Ductile and Brittle Fractures

    2.2 Fractography of Ductile and Brittle Fractures

    2.3 Fatigue Fracture

    2.4 Fractography of Fatigue Fracture


    3 Tools and Techniques Used in Failure Analysis

    3.1 Acquisition of Background Data

    3.2 Selection of Samples

    3.3 Photographic Records

    3.4 Preliminary Examination

    3.5 Non-Destructive Testing

    3.6 Chemical Analysis

    3.7 Fractography, Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Analysis

    By X-Ray (EDAX) Using Scanning Electron Microscope

    3.8 Optical Microscopy

    3.9 Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA)

    3.10 X-Ray Diffraction

    3.11 Evaluation of Mechanical Properties


    Part2 - Case Studies

    4 Improper Material Selection

    4.1 Failure of Hip-joint prosthesis

    4.2 Failure of Firing pin of 120mm Low Range Mortar

    4.3 Failure of Shaft of a Gearbox

    4.4 Failure of 7.62mm Cartridge Cases

    4.5 Failure of Fin Mounting Nuts


    5 Manufacturing Defect

    5.1 Failure of Track Pins of Track Link

    5.2 Failure of Track Shoe of an Infantry Combat Vehicle

    5.3 Failure of Control Lever of Fuel Metering Unit of an

    Aero Engine

    5.4 Failure of Drill Rods for Mining

    5.5 Failure of Lifting Lugs of a Missile

    5.6 Failure of Breech Block of Light Machine Gun

    5.7 Failure of Titanium Sponge Cutting Ring


    6 Casting Defects

    6.1 Failure of Exhaust Outer Cone of an Aero Engine

    6.2 Failure of Sealing Rings of Centrifugal Breather of

    an Aero Engine.

    6.3 Failure of Grinding Rolls of Bowl Mill of a Thermal Power



    7 Overload

    7.1 Failure of Mounting Bolt of Emergency Changeover Valve

    7.2 Failure of Steam Pipe in Unit-VI of a Thermal Power Station

    7.3 Failure of Body of Saddle Assembly

    7.4 Failure of Boiler Tube of a Thermal Power Station


    8 Fatigue

    8.1 Failure of Wheel Hub of an Aircraft

    8.2 Failure of Bolts of Flapjack Mounting Bracket of an Aircraft

    8.3 Failure of Compressor Rotor Blades of an Aero Engine

    8.4 Failure of Bearing Cage of an Aero Engine


    9 Corrosion Induced Failures

    9.1 Failure of Nipple of Fuel Pipe Line

    9.2 Failure of Condenser Tubes of Thermal Power Station

    9.3 Failure of High Pressure Air and Hydraulic Pipes

    9.4 Failure of Detonator of a Grenade


    10 Hydrogen Embrittlement and Stress Corrosion Cracking

    10.1 Failure of Fin Mounting Screws

    10.2 Failure of Differential Valve Cover of Fuel Metering Unit

    10.3 Failure of Lever Assembly of Main Undercarriage of an


    10.4 Failure of Cartridge Seat Ejection Secondary of an Aircraft


    11 Wear

    11.1 Failure of Inter-Rotor Bearing of an Aero Engine

    11.2 Failure of Low Temperature Super Heater Tube of

    a Thermal Power Station

    11.3 Failure of Main Landing Gear Assembly of an Aircraft

    11.4 Failure of Coupling Shaft and Bevel Gear of an Aero Engine


    12 Elevated Temperature Failures

    12.1 Failure of a Bolt of Nozzle Guide Vane of an Aero Engine

    12.2 Failure of Vanes of Front Nozzle Diaphragm Assembly of an

    Aero Engine

    12.3 Failure of Centre Main Bearing of an Aircraft Engine

    12.4 Failure of Jet Nozzle Casing of an Aero Engine.

    12.5 Failure of Turbine Stator Vanes of an Aero Engine


    13 Bibliography

Product details

  • No. of pages: 294
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2018
  • Published: January 3, 2018
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128143360
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128143377

About the Author

Kannadi Palankeezhe Balan

Dr. K. P. BALAN obtained his M.Tech., from IIT, Kharagpur and Ph.D from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi in Metallurgical Engineering. In 1982, he joined the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, India, working in the area of Failure Analysis. He has held the post of Scientist ‘G’ and head of ‘Structure and Failure Analysis Group’ in DMRL, Hyderabad. Dr. Balan has handled over 500 failure case studies pertaining to defence hardware, railways, thermal power stations, mines etc. Besides failure analysis he has handled Research and Development projects on enhancement of life of small arms barrels, pneumatic and hydraulic pipes for submarines and bearing steels for aerospace applications. He has also carried out metallurgical investigations of over 2000 metallic components of weapons and weapon systems for their indigenization. The recommendations given through his failure analysis have helped in imparting new lease of life to a number of components and systems at various stages of manufacture and operation, thus saving large amount of revenue for the country. Suggestions made through his failure analysis have helped in avoiding future recurrence of similar failures. Dr. Balan has been a member of some of the renowned Indian national committees that addressed failure cases of strategic importance. He has been a member of the Materials Standardisation Sub-Committee under the Directorate of Standardization, and the Sectional committee on Microstructure and Heat Treatment under the Bureau of Indian Standards and has also been a member of Metallurgical Engineering Division Council, of the Bureau of Indian Standards. He has numerous publications to his credit in national and international journals and conference proceedings on topics related to failure analysis and structure-property correlations in steels.

Affiliations and Expertise

Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, India

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