Failure Analysis Procedure

ATRONA Test Labs follows rigorous procedure focused on investigating the problems and arriving at logical hypothesis. In pursuit of the truth we typically conduct a test protocol that is designed to address the failure analysis at hand. We typically will document the failure in the as received condition and describe in detail what we start with. In some instances root cause of the failure is located away from the fracture. We look for any sign of wear, contact, abuse, tip loading, misalignment, etc., before we begin the analysis documenting all findings with photography and descriptions. Along the way we may contact our customer to address certain results and to ask questions. Although we do not like releasing preliminary reports that are not verified we work with our customers to update them with information along the way as their schedule requires. At the conclusion of the analysis we normally follow up to answer any question and to make sure the customer understands the report. Our formal failure analysis reports are easy to follow and contain sections for each property. Compared to other test reports you will like our style and flow.

PROCEDURE: If you would like us to investigate a failure please contact us with an all information available including: Engineering print and specifications, field reports, protect the fracture face and do not allow the mating faces to touch, send the whole system or failed components (whatever is available).

TEST PROTOCOL: Exact tests vary depending on the failure and hypothesis developed during initial failure analysis investigation. They could include: Visual analysis and photography/description of what was received, non-destructive testing evaluation of surface and subsurface prior to initial cutting, chemical analysis to ID the material, heat treat evaluation, metallographic analysis, scanning electron microscopy fracture analysis, failure mode, initiation and progression of failure, mechanical properties and physical properties of the material that failed, and other. Sample can also be dimensionally mapped prior to testing. It all depends on the failure type and application.


  • Be sure to handle the failure with care and as little as possible preserving all fracture surfaces and keeping components and fragments from touching each other.
  • Be sure to wrap the fractures with plastic or cloth without introducing contamination.
  • Ship ALL components and fragments to ATRONA and inform us if any testing or preparation was conducted on the samples prior to shipment.
  • Ship the failed components to ATRONA as soon as feasible to prevent further damage or corrosion.
  • Please be sure to include engineering prints or specifications and proper sample identification. Any history of "what happened" before, during, and after including service hours and operator testimony would be helpful.


After Hypothesis is developed we typically plan the failure analysis by conducting a battery of tests to arrive to the truth and find the root cause of the problem. Besides issuing a formal report with conclusions in many cases we provide our customers with recommendations to help reduce the risk or eliminate the issues from repeating.

Atrona - We Deliver Insight