Technical Tips

Sharing knowledge gained from investigating the fundamental causes of failure.

The importance of understanding loading, stresses and strains in structures

APRIL 2015

Poor understanding of the loading and resulting stresses / deflections in a structure may lead to damage or premature failure.

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The importance of surface finish and flaw size on fatigue life. Flaw size counts!!

MARCH 2015

Uncontrolled surface damage and poor surface finish can play a significant role in a components service life. Make every effort to prevent inadvertent mechanical damage and poor machining finish.

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Don't underestimate the complexities of bolting - beware of the dangers of reduced member stiffness!


Gaskets, dirt, irregular/dished member faces reduce member stiffness and can help promote failure by fatigue mechanisms.

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Connecting your numerical modelling to the real world


Computer modeling is becoming more popular with improved computer power and cheaper software. However, in order to gain confidence that the model is a true representation of the real world, it is necessary to calibrate the model against real world conditions.

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The Effect of Stress Concentrations on Fatigue Life


Ignore stress concentrations and surface finish discontinuities at your peril!

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Beware of underestimating the potential of bending


Inadvertently induced bending stresses often causes failure even at design loads.

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Strength versus Toughness


Although counter intuitive increasing yield strength may not prevent failure.

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Don't underestimate the complexities of bolting - Pretension your bolts


Incorrectly pretensioned bolts cause leaks, allow relative movement between components, and often result in joint failure when the bolts in question come loose or fail by fatigue or other mechanisms.

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The importance of stress analysis in failure investigations


Failure of a component is generally related to a combination of applied load (design and actual loads), operating environment, material properties, the geometry of the component and manufacturing techniques. In order to establish the underlying cause of a failure it is necessary to consider all these aspects.

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