Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data and performing other pertinent test to determine the cause of a failure. Failed components are examined for the cause or causes of failure using a wide array of methods, especially microscopy and spectroscopy. Components fail due to abuse, improper design, poor material selection, and / or improper processing. Fracture surfaces should be preserved to protect important clues regarding cause of failure. Component orientation, stresses present, history of use, maintenance records, dimensional inspection, etc. are important in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship.
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