MRO Magazine

Tip of the week: Analyzing cracked surfaces

Diagnosing the precise cause of a failure is critical for developing cost-effective solutions that prevent repeat failures.


July 27, 2015
By PEM Magazine

Shane Turcott, Principal Metallurgist, Steel Image, maintains that metallurgical failure analysis is a useful tool for supporting maintenance and reliability efforts by providing details of equipment failures that would not otherwise be available. Failure analysis incorporates laboratory equipment to determine why a component failed and provides details that help lead to making informed reliability decisions.

Turcott, a subject matter expert on failure analysis and on-site, in-situ metallography, will present a special workshop on metallurgical failure analysis at Partners in Training in London, Ont. on October 20.

The workshop will introduce the tools and concepts applied during lab-based failure analysis. Participants will leave with a better understanding of visual fracture recognition, failure analysis and the role it plays in supporting reliability.

Turcott’s Tip
“A cracked surface is like a fingerprint at a crime scene, providing information leading to the culprit that caused the problem if carefully analyzed. If examined under the proper microscopes, details can be resolved to provide information regarding the cracking type, exact location of crack initiation and perhaps even how old the crack is.”


Fractography is the science behind analyzing cracked surfaces and will be introduced during the “Introduction to Metallurgical Failure Analysis” workshop at Partners in Training.  

The full agenda is available at