Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.496.1 - 6.496.6
FAILURE ANALYSIS: A PERFORMANCE THEME FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN J. M. Herrera and S. W. Stafford University of Texas at El Paso
Failure Analysis is a course in the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering curriculum that deals with the practical and theoretical aspects of material failure and performance analysis. Fractures and failed components, when constructively exploited can be uniquely revealing in the engineering design sense. The fracture face of a broken part, for example, often contains a remarkably detailed record of the conditions and events leading to the failure. In the case of fatigue failures, the service history of the component can sometimes be read from the fracture face in a manner similar to the way that a forester interprets the growth rings of trees. Fracture patterns in glass and in various brittle materials, can also be very revealing as to the origin and progression of the fracture, and thus the likely cause.
Fundamental to an understanding of design for failure avoidance is an equally thorough understanding of how and why materials, in their fabricated forms, fail. The latter understanding is not generally obtainable from studying laboratory fractures of standard test specimens. These fractures are usually quite different in appearance from the fractures typically found in manufactured components subject to real service environments and to real load spectra.
The instructional opportunities in failed parts are manifold – stress concentration, welds, heat treatment, fatigue, wear phenomena, corrosion, etc. Handling, studying, and analyzing a service failure can give the student a learning experience not readily equaled by any textbook or laboratory exercise. Since failure normally represents a severe deviation from the expected performance of the component, the lesson may have profound and long-lasting implications that transcend its purely technical content.
While engineering failures can result in positive outcomes, such as improved designs and new innovations, many people may only think of engineering failures in negative terms.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Herrera, J., & Stafford, S. (2001, June), Failure Analysis: A Performance Theme For Engineering Design Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9268
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