Failure Analysis

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When parts or equipment fail, you need accurate answers quickly to get solutions in place. Every day you wait for answers, it costs you money and potentially your company's valuable reputation. 

IMR Test Labs should be your first call for your next root cause failure analysis. We are fast. We are experienced. We are knowledgeable. We are trained and well equipped to tackle your failure analysis needs from simple fractures to complex litigation cases.

IMR has extensive failure analysis capabilities covering metals, polymers and composites, welds, coatings, finished products and more. Our failure analysis experts have performed thousands of root cause analyses and have experience with a wide range of failure modes, materials and industries. Check out our case studies with sample photographs below.

IMR's Metallurgical Engineering staff will provide insight into the contributing factors of the failure so you can prevent recurrance. In addition to our state-of-the-art microscopy and prep labs, our Metallurgical Engineering staff has numerous resources at its disposal such as a full chemistry lab (including nonmetallics) and a well equipped mechanical and fatigue lab. This eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming outsources, getting you results on a much faster timeline.

Learn more about our failure analysis capabilities below, or request a quote today.

Litigation Failure Analysis

Litigation and insurance claims need support from competent materials testing experts to reach the appropriate conclusions. Our labs in Ithaca, NY and Louisville, KY provide litigation support to clients in a wide range of industries.  Clients rely on IMR to provide the following professional services:

     Trial Expert Witness Testimony
     Technical Disposition
     Legal Consultation
     Test Witness Services

IMR has a reputation for comprehensive and unbiased perspective on complex material failures. Our staff includes licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.’s), Ph.D.’s, and other analysts with the necessary education and industry experience to provide confident technical support. We also have experts in a wide range of disciplines including corrosion, fractography and nonmetallics.

If you are a consumer and would like to hire an expert witness or need technical disposition, we recommend having your lawyer contact us.  This way we can be sure to perform the specific testing required to meet the needs of your case.


With a nonmetallics lab in-house, we are well-positioned to handle your root cause analyses on mixed materials and finished products.

Our polymerceramicscoatings and fiber-reinforced composites experts are well-versed in the failure modes of these materials. They can provide you a clear, concise root cause analysis report that explains the contributing factors and suggestions to prevent recurrence.

Our nonmetallics group can also examine contaminants and corrodents and help you determine their source.  Request a quote today.

Failure Analysis CASE STUDIES

Hydrogen Embrittlement Failure Analysis

 Hydrogen Embrittlement Failure Analysis

One of our clients reached out for help with a failure analysis of a fractured component that failed during routine testing. IMR was asked to confirm a preliminary root cause analysis from another test lab the end-user had sent the part to. Additionally, IMR was supplied with swabs from foreign deposits and some additional pieces to analyze...

Continue reading about "Hydrogen Embrittlement Failure."

Failure Analysis of a Bellows Due to Undersized Welds

 Failure Analysis of a Bellows Due to Undersized Welds

IMR received a pair of bellows assemblies with cracks in the welds for failure analysis. After mounting, polishing and metallographic analysis of four sections from each assembly, it was determined that all 8 locations failed to meet the customer-supplied fillet angle requirements and six of eight failed to meet weld size requirements...

Continue reading "Failure Analysis of a Bellows due to Undersized Welds."

Fatigue Failure Analysis of a Pin

SEM view of fracture surface. Note what appears to be a deep machining mark along the edge. _1

A 4150 steel pin was received for failure analysis; the fracture was determined to be due to rotating bending fatigue...

Continue reading Fatigue Failure Analysis of a Pin.

Failure of Pipes due to Stress Corrosion Cracking

 Failure of Pipes due to Stress Corrosion Cracking

Two sections of 304 stainless steel pipe were received for analysis of the source of leaks. Additional materials were also received, including insulation, strapping, two process fluids and a water sample from the DI system used to mix the fluids.

One pipe showed minor pitting and the other contained a network of fine cracks. The cracks appear to have originated on the outside of the pipe. Both pipes were covered with debris.

Drops of the process fluids and the DI water were dried on aluminum stubs...

Continue reading Failure Analysis of Pipes due to Stress Corrosion Cracking.

Failure Analysis of Steam Turbine Wheel due to Hot Caustic Stress Corrosion Cracking

 Failure Analysis of Steam Turbine Wheel due to Hot Caustic Stress Corrosion Cracking

A steam turbine wheel with fractures at the locking bucket location was received for fracture and microstructure examination, chemistry, and mechanical property testing.

The wheel chemistry and mechanical properties meet the requirements of the customer supplied specification. Examination of the fracture surfaces on the wheel indicated a primarily intergranular fracture surface that was somewhat compromised by corrosion...

Continue reading Failure Analysis of Steam Turbine Wheel due to Stress Corrosion Cracking.