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Leo Vega

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Bolt Failure Analysis
Topics of Discussion
Elements of a Failure Analysis
Metallurgical Characterization Techniques
Types of Damage Mechanisms
Case Studies
Summary
Typical Elements of a Failure
Analysis
History of Component
Visual Examination
Photographic
Documentation
Sample Selection
Collect Deposits
Sectioning
Fractography
Metallography
SEM/EDS/XRD
Chemical Analysis
Mechanical Testing
NDE
Metallurgical Characterization
Techniques
Visual Examination
Metallography
Fractography
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and
Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS)
Hardness Testing
Non-destructive Evaluation (NDE)
Visual Examination
Fractography
Flat
fracture
Shear lip
Microstructural Evaluation
Metallography
To assess material
condition and features
SEM/EDS and XRD Analysis
Deposit Analysis
1000
100 m
keV
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
C
o
u
n
t
s
3,500
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500
C
O
Si Cl Ca Mn
Fe
Fe
Fe
Ni
Ni
Ni
Cu Cu
Cu
Hardness Testing
Rockwell tests on a failed shank
1 10
Hardness on Failed Shaft
No. Hardness, HRC
1 35
2 36
3 30
4 31
5 31
6 29
7 31
8 27
9 26
10 19
Micro Hardness
Testing
Microhardness Values of Sample in Longitudinal Orientation
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
0
.
0
0
3
0
.
0
5
0
.
0
0
8
0
.
0
1
0
.
0
1
3
0
.
0
1
5
0
.
0
1
8
0
.
0
2
0
.
0
2
3
0
.
0
2
5
0
.
0
2
8
0
.
0
3
Distance from Edge of Hole, inches
K
n
o
o
p

H
a
r
d
n
e
s
s
DrilledHole
Laser Cut Hole
NDE
Wet
magnetic
particle
Inspection
of
cracked bolt
Types of Damage Mechanisms
Fatigue Fractures
Wear
Welding Defects
Corrosion
Casting Flaws
Liquid Metal
Embrittlement
Selective Dissolution
Manufacturing/Metal
Working Defects
Quality Assurance/
Quality Control (QA/QC)
Fatigue Fractures
Mechanical Failures
Beach marks (macroscopic
features)
Fatigue Striations
(microscopic features)
Wear
Gear reduction
box

Evidence of a
surface
treatment
Absence of a
surface
treatment
Corrosion
Compressor Bi-metallic oil seal
Pitting and subsequent cracking caused by water in
zinc-type antiwear additives operating above 140
deg F
Liquid Metal Embrittlement
SEM/EDS of Crack on
Worn Shaft
Pb
Sn, Sb
Ni alloy
Selective Dissolution
Dealuminification in
NiAl Bronze selective
attack of a phase
Manufacturing/Metal Working
Defects QA/QC Inspections
Inspection at
suppliers facility
Incoming material
inspection
In-process
inspection
Finished material
inspection
Pipe Mill Defect -
QA/QC
Extrusion Laps
Case Studies
Case Study #1
Failure of Compressor Cylinder Flange/Bolts (Fatigue)
Case Study #2
Failure of Riser Fasteners (Hydrogen
Embrittlement/Intergranular Cracking)
Case Study #3
A fun one; Failed Spinal Screws (Fatigue)
Case Study #1 - Compressor Station
Hick-up PN 113175
Case Study #1
Fractured bolts and flange at
compressor cylinder
Case Study #1 The Line Up

SEM Analysis
Fatigue Striations
Cut Threads
Case Study #1
276
283 283
Knoop micro hardness
impressions at thread
root.
Cut threads are evident.
Case Study #1 - Conclusions
Fasteners failed by High Cycle Fatigue
Material and strength levels were adequate
Increase frequency of inspections
Bolts with cut threads should be considered as
replacements.
Case Study #2
Fasteners in bolted flange connection operating
in a seawater environment
Case Study #2 - Fractography
Intergranular Fracture
Case Study #2 - Metallography
Intergranular cracking
Case Study #2 Hardness Testing
Micro hardness tests on
banded structure
Case Study #2
Failure due to Hydrogen Embrittlement
Intergranular fracture mode
Improper heat treatment revealed by hardness
variations in a banded structure, which may
have contributed to the failure.
Case Study #3
Fractured Spinal Screw
Stage I Crack Initiation
Stage II Crack
Propagation
Stage III - Overload

Stage I Stage II
Stage III
What to do (or not do)!
SUMMARY
A variety of characterization
techniques are used in a
metallurgical evaluation to
characterize various damage
mechanisms.
Some projects require limited
scope based on budget
constraints.
Some require multi-disciplined
engineering support and extensive
evaluations
Each technique provides specific
information that allows the
investigator to assess the results
and their contribution to the cause.
Metallurgical Failure Analysis
serves numerous clients in areas
such as:
Failure Analysis and Prevention
Third party review, audits, and
oversight of inspections
On site metallurgical evaluations.
Forensic Investigations
Metallurgical Failure Analysis
Leo Vega
Contact Info:
281-897-1045 direct
832-868-7449 cell