Root Cause Assessment

We specialize in comprehensive root cause investigations and formal failure analysis. It is our passion and what we are set up to do. We utilize the latest, state of the art technology for scanning electron microscopy and image analysis with various microscopes, hardness testers, spectrometers, microhardness, sample prep equipment and mechanical testing. Our fully-equipped labs offer metallurgical, chemical, polymer, mechanical, microscopy, dimensional, and non-destructive (NDT) examination. It is all here under one roof to aid us in failure analysis and root cause investigation. We outsource nothing to other labs. We firmly believe that in order to solve a problem one should be in control of all aspects of the investigation and have access to all the tools needed.

Root CauseFAILURE ANALYSIS: ATRONA Test Labs, Inc. has completed well over 2,000 failure investigation assignments including failure analysis for root cause issues, failure analysis to establish liability, and simple failure analysis for the purpose of future failure prevention. Failure analysis projects included close to 200 major projects related to manufacturing or metallurgical issues including ASME pressure vessels, aircraft/aerospace systems and components, turbine engine components, oil and gas transmission pipelines and components, food processing equipment, contamination and components, Heat exchangers, Fastener industry components, Medical supplies, Racing industry systems and components, and automotive components.

ATRONA's failure analysis strength is in evaluating metallic components and systems. We have assembled a team of experts in metallurgy, heat treat, materials, fasteners, high temperature and high pressure failures, stress calculations and finite element analysis (FEA). The Failure Analysis Team at ATRONA has experience in materials, failure analysis, metallurgical, welding, quality assurance, and heat treat fields.

ATRONA works with its clients to plan the failure analysis before conducting the investigation. A large amount of time and effort is spent carefully considering the background of failure and studying the general features before the actual investigation begins.

Root Cause InvestigationIn the course of the various steps listed below preliminary hypothesis are often formulated. If the probable fundamental cause of the metallurgical failure becomes evident early on in the examination, the rest of the investigation would focus on confirming the probable cause and eliminating other possibilities. The metallurgical failure analyst compiles the results of preliminary conclusions carefully considering all aspects of the failure including visual examination of the fracture surface, full SEM fracture topography to determine failure mode and initiation, the inspection of metallographic specimens to understand the raw material condition, the heat treat condition, and conducts tests such as microhardness, and EDS analysis.

  • 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.

Our principal metallurgist has been retained as an expert witness on this subject, and has authored papers and conducted presentations on Failure Analysis.

After determining the cause of Failure, we will work with you on corrective action and make appropriate recommendations to solve the problem. If the solution requires investigation of the current design's structural integrity we will evaluate local structural stresses and strains. We can also evaluate the stress impact on the failed part in an assembly during static loading conditions. 

Failure analysis assignments included major projects related to manufacturing or metallurgical issues including:

  • Aerospace Components
  • Off Highway Components
  • Switches and Sensors
  • Turbine Engine Components
  • Oil and Gas Transmissions
  • Pipelines and Components
  • Food Processing Equipment
  • Contamination Investigations
  • Military Components
  • Wind Mill Components
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Fasteners & Related Components
  • Medical Supplies & Equipment
  • Racing Industry Components
  • Automotive Components


Root Cause Investigation, Comprehensive Metallurgical Examination, Formal Test Procedures, Field Investigation, and Laboratory Testing are some of the services we offer our customers to help solve problems and recommend solutions.

Lab Test

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