Failure Analysis

Finite element analysis (FEA) is important in failure analysis investigations to help determine the circumstances that led to failure, as well as identifying the failure mechanism itself. SEAM combines FEA with other in house techniques during failure analysis investigations. For instance, as an alternative to simulating the design geometry, FEA can be used to simulate an actual component geometry as scanned by X-Ray micro computed tomography (XMT). This is used to gain an insight into how the real component performs under operational loading as opposed to the idealised design geometry, and how this affects component failure. Understanding the circumstances leading to a failure enables targeted modifications in the areas of design, manufacturing, or in service conditions, in order to eliminate or reduce future failure rates.

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Drillhead 'Chunking' Failure

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FEA Residual Stress Contour Plot

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FEA Stress Concentration Regions

Drillhead Failure Investigation (Images courtesy of Mincon Group PLC.)