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Failure Analysis

Material Answers conducts failure analysis and accident investigations concerning materials and/or processes.

Our projects have encompassed identification of root cause; exploration of failure mechanisms; evaluation of material composition; site inspections; mechanical testing; assessment of environmental factors such as stress, temperature, and chemical attack; and design and performance of accelerated testing programs.


Selected Projects

Investigation of Reactor Accident

During routine startup of a chemical reactor an overpressure occurred that resulted in a steam release and severe burn injuries to the operator. Several potential root causes for the release were investigated.

more on steam release...

Defect Reduction in Plastic Sheet Extrusion

A manufacturer suffered low process yields due to the presence of "spots" or "gels" in a plastic sheet product made from a blend of polyethylene with a ethylene-propylene copolymer.

more on defect reduction...

Reduction of Wear in V-Belts

V-belts for motor drives in high torque applications were wearing and failing at an unusually high rate. The V-belt manufacturer requested recommendations for process changes which would yield improved wear resistance.

more on wear reduction...

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