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The Naval Research Laboratory receives cracked and fractured parts ranging from the exotic to the mundane: for example, titanium alloy jet engine components, ultrahigh strength steel landing gear parts, aluminum alloy airframe sections, and galvanized mild steel radio antenna support frames. Failure analysis involving so many materials over such a wide range of applications demands great adaptability in the use of fractographic techniques. The use of all techniques from the unaided eye through low-power magnifiers to high-powered light microscopes and transmission and scanning microscopes, will be discussed, using actual case histories for illustration. The application of surface chemical analysis to failure analysis also will be mentioned.
failure, fractures (materials), fractography
Metallurgist, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.