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The goal of using nondestructive evaluation (NDE) in conjunction with failure analysis is to obtain the most comprehensive set of data in order to characterize the details of the damage and determine the factors that allowed the damage to occur. The NDE results can be used to determine optimal areas upon which to focus for sectioning and metallography in order to further investigate the condition of the component. This article provides information on the inspection method available for failure analysis, including standard methods such as visual testing, penetrant testing, and magnetic particle testing. It covers the effects of various factors on the properties of the part that may impact failure analysis, describes the characterization of damage modes and crack sizes, and finally discusses the processes involved in application of NDE results to failure analysis.

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