Why Parts Fail

Course Duration: 1 Day

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

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 three two-hour sessions which is recommended for lead investigators who will be expected to perform RCA in the field.

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. Recognize fatigue, ductile, brittle, and torsion failures.
  2. Recognize ball and roller bearing failure/modes.
  3. Recognize power transmission failure/modes.

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 and 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


*Examples will be provided on the following components per the client’s request:

  • Bushings
  • Spindles

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