Materials & Metallurgical Consulting

High SEM Magnification of Fracture

Materials/ Metallurgical Consulting

Developing Materials & Metallurgical Solutions

Providing materials & metallurgical testing and analysis – developing solutions to ensure structural integrity and compliance to Codes including ASTM, AWS, API and ASME.

Such testing quantifies the properties of metals and is often used to determine whether a component conforms to a required specification. The primary benefits of metallurgical investigations are: (1) Ensuring the Right Materials/ Properties for Your Application (2) If Needed, in Conjunction with Various Testing – Determining the Cause of Equipment Failure.

Thread Failure Analysis - Metallurgical Image of Weld Lack of Fusion

See Portfolio to Read about our Various Projects. To See an Interesting Collage of Projects, see the  Murals Page.

  • Recent Projects

  • Metallurgical Failure Analysis

    Visual and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques are used to determine metallurgical failures due to manufacturing process problems, defects, contamination and corrosion.

    Equipment design life is often compromised through inadequate manufacturing processes such as welding and thermal/ transient conditions – and possibly high temperature environments. At elevated temperatures, creep and component strains occur, especially in welded and bolted joint connections. Read about Fatigue of Welded Structures.

    Defects often occur in welded, cast and forged parts. Parts with complex geometries often include crack starters, such as metallurgical notch effects. Metallurgical failures often occur from vibration, thermal fatigue, thermal ratcheting, and fatigue. Read more about the various types of metallurgical testing.

    We have 30+ years experience in engineering design, analysis, and materials science – determining locations of crack initiation sites, probable rates of propagation, modes of failure and assisting in Forensic Investigations.

    Examples Include:

    • Welded Assemblies
    • Pumps & Valves
    • Nozzles
    • Supports
    • Lifting Devices
    • Manufacturing
    • Petrochemical
    • Mining
    • Oil/ Gas
    • Power Generation
    • Pressure Vessels
    • Heat Exchangers
    • Piping
    • Condensors
    • Compressors


    Our team of consultants come from diverse backgrounds, including power generation, materials & fabrication, fatigue/ failure analysis, and finite element analysis (FEA). FEA is often used along with materials / metallurgical analysis to identify failure modes.

    Interdisciplinary teams are essential for performing most failure analyses, since the root cause is rarely the result of a single variable. Understanding not only the metallurgical properties but also the environmental effects and stresses to a system or component is important in determining the cause of component failure.

    Once our team of consultants determine component failure modes, we design modifications to ensure structural integrity and compliance to relevant codes. Our licensed Professional Engineers and Certified Welding Inspectors provide clients with support across the spectrum of welding and joining challenges – including code compliance, weld and joint inspection, and mechanical testing.

    Call Tom O’Donnell to Discuss Your Engineering Challenges.

    Materials/ Metallurgical Related Links

    >> Our Engineering Team
    >> Introduction to Metallurgy
    >> Engineering Troubleshooting
    >> Introduction to Fatigue Analysis
    >> Introduction to Corrosion
    >> Publications: Pressure Vessels, Fatigue, Weld Applications

    Learn from the experience of others. Especially when one such “other” is Dr. William O’Donnell, PhD, PE, Founder and President of O’Donnell Consulting Engineers, Inc., and ASME “Engineer of the Year” – his 50 years of experience in analysis of components including fatigue and fracture safety evaluations and failure analyses are now comprised in this volume.

    If you are interested learning more in Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Construction, as well as Failure Analysis, then this book is a must have!


    * Does not include shipping, handling or tax

    Book Cover Image of Handbook of Lessons Learned

    (412) 835-5007

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