PROACT® Failure Scene Investigation

Failed Parts Tell No Lies

The PROACT® Failure Scene Investigation (FSI) hands-on workshop provides the participants with the skills and knowledge to strategically obtain and interpret the data necessary to solve failure by demonstrating how different analytical tools are used to prove or disprove hypotheses.

The Mechanical FSI course will educate and enhance the analyst’s ability to identify many types of mechanical failure modes. It will also give the failure analyst an understanding of when the hypothesis being verified must go to an expert. Many of the failures being analyzed can be verified within the organization. On average, about 20% will have to go to outside experts.

The Mechanical FSI course enhances the analyst’s ability to follow the discipline of the PROACT® methodology by increasing the individual’s internal practical and theoretical mechanical knowledge.

You will learn how to:

  1. Articulate the PROACT® RCA methodology
  2. Recognize fatigue, ductile, brittle, and torsional failures
  3. Recognize ball and roller bearing failure modes
  4. Recognize power transmission failure modes
  5. Recognize corrosion failures
  6. Determine reasons for human performance failures

Analysis Reports That Sell

Once the failure scene investigator has determined the real root causes of the failure mechanism, he or she is then taught how to assemble a comprehensive report for management that is comprised of facts that accurately present the findings. The final report provides the necessary justification to obtain the

resources needed to implement solutions which will eliminate the causes of the problems. This advanced course is designed for field, technical and engineering personnel who are primarily responsible for determining the causes of equipment, process and human failures, and/or for providing input on failed parts and general data collection when failure occurs.


Course Duration: 2 Days

Course Description: This course provides an in-depth understanding of how to verify hypotheses developed in RCA.  Hands on presentations are made to teach attendees how to identify mechanical failure modes by reading fracture surfaces.  

This course can be customized in its presentation by picking certain topics to emphasize while deleting others, or by focusing the class on teaching how to perform certain techniques versus gaining an appreciation for numerous techniques.  Part of a principal analyst’s role is to be aware of technology available for verifying. They do not necessarily have to be an expert in the “how to” but rather they must know when to apply a certain technology and who can do it.

This is a two-day session which is recommended for lead investigators who will be expected to perform RCA in the field.  Because of the nature of the content, it is recommended that attendees have an appreciation for the use of computers in engineering applications and an engineering background or equivalent experience.

Course Objective: To enhance the knowledge and experience of attendees in mechanical failure analysis verifications.

Terminal Objectives: The attendee will:

  1. Recognize failure patterns from fractured surfaces of physical components.
  2. Determine when to use certain analytical techniques in the course of an RCA.
  3. Put Failure Analysis verification techniques in the context of an overall approach to Root Cause Analysis.  

Enabling Objectives:  The attendee will be able to:

  1. Articulate the RCI Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Method.
  2. Recognize fatigue, ductile, brittle, and torsion failures.
  3. Recognize ball and roller bearing failure/modes.
  4. Recognize power transmission failure/modes.
  5. Recognize corrosion failures.
  6. Determine how human intervention may have contributed to failures.

What Is the Course Content?

  • Material selection
    • Stress and strain
    • Some steel properties
    • Material strength v/s toughness
    • Material hardness
  • Understanding Equipment Problems
    • Physical roots
    • Fatigue & overload
    • Different material characteristics
    • Comparing yield strengths
    • Overload
      • Brittle overload
      • Ductile overload
      • Shaft Overload failure examples
    • Fatigue
      • Manifestation of fatigue
      • Progression marks
      • Instantaneous fracture zone
      • Heavy loading v/s light loading
      • High cycle/low cycle fatigue
      • Rotational bending
      • Plane bending
      • Torsion
      • Stress concentrators
      • Causes of fatigue
      • Physical characteristics of fatigue
      • Shaft fatigue examples (parts)
  • Fasteners
    • US and Metric differences and identification
    • Materials commonly used for bolts
    • Bolt tightening best practices
    • How bolts fail
    • Bolt failure examples
  • Lubricants
    • Basics of bearing lubrication
    • How lubricants work
    • Lubricant properties and additives
    • What problems occur with lubricant application
  • Bearings
    • Design life
    • How bearings fail (Hertzian fatigue)
    • L10 lives and the effects of load
    • The effects of water dirt & temperature
    • How to analyze bearing failures
    • Bearing failure examples
  • Gears
    • Describe important terms
    • Types of gears and how they operate
    • Basic gear metallurgy
    • Gear failures and mechanisms
    • Gear failure examples
  • Corrosion
    • What corrosion is and why corrosion happens
    • What it costs
    • Environmental effects
    • Basic Types of corrosion
    • Corrosion prevention
  • Wear
    • What wear is and how wear occurs
    • Types of wear
    • Detection and prevention
    • Wear examples
  • Belts, chains, seals, and pumps by request **

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