The right combination of metallurgy, statistics, and fracture mechanics is critical to understanding the reliability and safety of materials. We can help you with fracture mechanics consulting, interpretation, modeling, and insight from one of the world’s leading fracture mechanics experts. He literally wrote the book (now in the 4th edition) on Fracture Mechanics and teaches courses around the world. Now he has joined with us to provide consulting services as an expert witness, instructor, and consultant.
The fundamental basis of fracture mechanics is stress analysis, which allows for quantitative assessment of cracks, defects, fatigue, and fracture. High-strength allows can be susceptible to serious loss of strength when small flaws initiate and grow. The effects of a given crack size can be evaluated quantitatively with fracture mechanics, including estimation of the time necessary for the flaw to grow to critical size.
The increasing use of risk-based inspection (RBI) and fitness-for-service (FFS) analyses in the energy industry and beyond has led to a dramatic rise in the use of fracture mechanics. When equipment is damaged or suspect, fracture mechanics analysis can help the FFS team to determine the safety, reliability, and appropriate maintenance/monitoring schedule for a given component.
The utility of fracture mechanics in failure analysis is often seen in evaluation of fatigue, brittle overload, plastic fracture, and other stresses. Stress analysis of flaws and stress concentrators in the design can play a critical role in determining the root cause of a failure. Other times, the space of fatigue striations can be incorporated into crack propagation models to better understand the progression and timeline of a given failure. Let our team of Houston metallurgists help you understand and tackle brittle and plastic cracking today.