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Failure analysis is generally defined as the investigation and analysis of parts or structures that have failed or appeared to have failed to perform their intended duty. Methods of field inspection and initial examination are also critical factors for both reconstruction analysts and materials failure analysts. This article focuses on the general methods and approaches from the perspective of a reconstruction analyst. It describes the elements of accident reconstruction, which have conceptual similarity with the principles for failure analysis of material incidents that are less complex than a large-scale accident. The approach presented is that the analysis and reconstruction is based on the physical evidence. The article provides a brief review of some general concepts on the use and limitations of advanced data acquisition tools and computer modeling. Legal implications of destructive testing are discussed in detail.

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