- Why does my product look/smell/feel different?
- Why does my product perform different than before?
- What has caused this change in my production process?
- What is the failure mode of my material?
What is a failure analysis?
You call on us for troubleshooting in production processes of your materials or the diagnosis of their ‘material failure”. Due to our wide range of analytical methods you may approach us with virtually all kinds of materials, whether they are made of organic, inorganic and metallic matter or whether your question is related to bulk, composite, layered or otherwise structured material.
Steps in failure analysis
Failure analysis starts with the definition of the malfunction or failure mode: Your detailed explanation is essential, as well as collection of all relevant accompanying information. Typically we ask for providing a ‘good / fresh’ sample as reference in comparison to the ‘bad / fail’ sample in order to express their differences in analytical terms. Also, susceptibility to environmental or other physical/chemical and mechanical stress factors may be considered, if failure is related to material durability (see material testing).
Typically a set of analytical methods is involved providing complementary information in view of the actual question, including:
- microscopy (SEM, TEM, optical)
- thermal analysis (DSC, TGA, DMA)
- chromatography (LCMS, GCMS, GPC)
- spectroscopy (FTIR, Raman, UV/VIS/NIR, NMR, XRF, XRD)
- profilometry (stylus profiler, interferometry)
- particle characterization (particle size distribution, specific surface, porosity, zetapotential)
Our troubleshooting and failure analysis report integrates these results to identify the most likely candidate mechanism for process instability or failure mode. We will explain the findings in close discussion with you and may also support with directions to prevent future failures.