Fractography is a partial form of failure analysis that deals with crack growth and fracture characteristics of metals, components, and engineering structures. A fractography analysis can reveal important information about failure mode, including the type of deformation that occurred and patterns of fracture.
Fractography is often used when corrosion or contamination of a material is suspected, or when a complete failure has occurred. Our experts will use a variety of methods to categorize the fracture into one of four modes, and provide feedback on the fracture pattern and service loading.
We provide detailed fractography reports for a variety of metallic materials. Using state-of-the-art equipment, in conjunction with a full failure analysis, we examine multiple characteristics to provide guidance and support about material properties and best practices for materials engineering.
Our Fractography Services
With a global platform of highly trained failure analysts, we are the ideal partner for fractography projects. Using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, we can assist with virtually any type or size of fracture project. We are dedicated to supporting you through every step of the process, from initial analysis to final reporting.
For more information about our fractography services, or to request a quote, contact us today.
Principal Fractography Modes
Fractography is categorized into four major modes: fatigue, cleavage, dimple rupture and decohesive rupture.
Fatigue fracture is caused by repetitive loading of a material or component. A fractography analysis can evaluate this by checking for fatigue striations and by determining the crack propagation mode and direction. By determining whether the crack is in Stage I (initiation), Stage II (propagation), or Stage III (total separation), a fractography analysis can determine where the material began to fail, and where the fracture terminated.
By contrast, cleavage is a low-energy fracture that occurred due to a rapid overload, under severe constraint, or in a metal’s brittle state. For this type of failure, a fractography analysis looks for macroscopic and microscopic features like river patterns, feather markings, and chevron patterns, to confirm transgranular cleavage as the fracture mode.
When materials are overloaded in their ductile state or with little constraint, a dimple rupture may occur. When evaluating this failure mode, fractography experts will look for tell-tale signs of dimple rupture, such as microvoid coalescence.
Decohesive rupture is often an intergranular failure method that involves weakening of atomic bonds, and little plastic deformation. When combined with a full failure analysis, fractography is used to determine if these types of failures are caused by hydrogen or liquid metal embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking, creep, heat treatment embrittlement, or other causes.
Ready to request a quote?
Our deliverable is certainty - high quality data, test reports and certificates that you can absolutely rely on when making decisions about your materials and compliance. Engage with an expert today.
More from Element
Element offers comprehensive capabilities to assist in determining root cause failure.
Learn more about the fracture mechanics services we provide to our customers in a variety of sectors.
Find out more about our metallurgical testing expertise and our comprehensive range services, from grain size analysis to fractography.
Local laboratories, global platform
Doing business with one of our laboratories enables our clients' access to our global platform of expertise, capacity and capabilities.