Images of Failed Components

Performing failure analysis – resolving materials, vibration, fatigue and other operational issues to prevent recurrence and ensuring structural integrity, maximizing equipment reliability & controlling costs for owners/ users.

Our failure analysis experience covers a broad range of industries, materials, and equipment. For a comprehensive list of components, see Industries Served. 
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  • Compressors, Pipes, Valves, Pumps
  • Pressure Vessels, Reactors, Dryers, and Autoclaves
  • Turbomachinery, Shafts, Blades, Gearboxes, Gears, Bearings
  • Heat Exchangers, Steam Generators, HRSGs
  • HVAC Systems, Boilers and Industrial Furnaces
  • Materials, Paints, Coatings
  • Machinery, Lift Trucks, Cranes, Welded Structures
Failure Analysis: Stud Image
Failure Analysis: Crack Image
Failure Analysis: Weld Image
We determine how materials and products fail, including mechanical integrity of equipment that has deteriorated due to corrosion, fatigue, damage, abuse, and improper manufacture. See Portfolio to read about our projects. Contact Us to learn more.
  • Recent Projects

  • Root Cause Failure Analysis

    Components not meeting their intended design life, or accidents and failures often result from factors including:

    • Design errors
    • Material imperfections
    • Manufacturing issues
    • Welding issues
    • Improper heat treatments
    • Fatigue
    • Misuse or abuse
    • Improper maintenance
    • Unforeseen operating conditions
    • Inadequate quality assurance
    • Inadequate environmental controls (Vibration, Corrosion, etc)

    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 a material failure.

    Once we identify component failure modes, we assess component remaining life, recommend inspection methods/ intervals, develop repairs to components and modify equipment designs to reduce the likelihood for future failures and ensuring structural integrity.

    In elevated temperature applications, complicated failure modes may occur, such as creep ratcheting, rupture, and creep fatigue. Our engineers have the expertise, technology, and experience to identify and quantify these failure modes – helping you understand the root cause and developing solutions to prevent costly recurrences, thus improving safety and lowering operating costs.

    Examples Include:

    • Heat Exchangers
    • Bellows
    • Piping
    • Condensors
    • Reactors
    • Manufacturing
    • Petrochemical
    • Mining
    • Oil/ Gas
    • Power Generation
    • Refractory
    • Ductwork
    • Compressors
    • Heaters
    • Welded Assemblies

    Metallurgy/ Testing

    O’Donnell Consulting offers a full spectrum of metallurgical testing to evaluate the root cause of component failure, performing corrosion investigations, surface condition studies, mechanical testing, and evaluations of weldments. This includes standards such as ISO, ASME and ASTM.

    Testing includes:

    • Chemical and mechanical
    • Metallographic examination
    • Fractography (SEM and TEM)
    • Accelerated testing of failure modes
    • Material testing
    • Corrosion testing

    If and when it becomes necessary to present the facts in court, we supply 3-D animations, cutting-edge computer graphics, and multimedia presentations to accompany our expert testimony, clearly demonstrating the issues for Judges and Juries to easily understand.
    To read more, see Expert Witness Services. 

    Give us a call – Let’s talk about your engineering needs.

    Failure Analysis Related Links:

    >> Tom O’Donnell, PE
    >> Materials/Metallurgical Consulting
    >> Weld Troubleshooting/ Consulting
    >> Portfolio of Engineering Projects
    >> Introduction to Fatigue Analysis
    >> Popular Links
    >> Engineering Resources

    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

    Handbook of Lessons Learned

    (412) 835-5007

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