Limiting investigations to human and environmental factors limits the accuracy of your results. The materials (metal, wood, ceramics, plastics, composites, etc.) involved can contribute, either positively or negatively, to the cause and severity of damages.
Materials science is a specialty field that encompasses engineering, physics, and chemistry as they relate to the structure and behavior of various materials. AEI has the materials science expertise to examine interactions between differing materials and environmental conditions, and how these interactions and conditions contribute to material failures at the heart of an incident.
The AEI team is also well versed in proper processing of scenes from the careful preservation and extraction of items to the proper transport and storage of this potential evidence for examination. All artifacts are closely examined in the controlled environment of AEI’s private laboratory. Failure analysis begins with documentation and imaging of failed parts and materials, and if necessary, continues into destructive analysis and imaging down to the sub-micron level. We examine fracture surface features using a variety of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques. A few of the things we look at are stress corrosion cracking; failure, creep and fatigue fractography; surface defect identification; environmental stress cracking; and materials compatibility and selection.
Detailed scientific analysis of materials and identifying how they failed lets us zero in on the causal factors that led up to the incident.
OUR MATERIALS SCIENCE EXPERTISE INCLUDE:
METAL, CORROSION, AND ELECTRONICS
Stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
Ductile failure, creep, and fatigue fractography
Galvanic, environmental, or biological corrosion
Plating technology processes and procedures
Alloy and base metal embrittlement
Primers, paints, and coatings—selection, compatibility, and failures
Cathodic corrosion protection
Electrostatic discharge—diagnosis and mitigation through grounding and bonding
Arc mapping and identifying direct/indirect lighting strikes
Electronics, circuits, and PCB failures
Batteries, ultra-capacitors, and transformers
CERAMICS, GLASS, AND HARDENED METAL
Surface defect identification (grinding, polishing, and finishing)