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This article focuses on the visual or macroscopic examination of damaged materials and interpretation of damage and fracture features. Analytical tools available for evaluations of corrosion and wear damage features include energy dispersive spectroscopy, electron probe microanalysis, Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. The article discusses the analysis and interpretation of base material composition and microstructures. Preparation and examination of metallographic specimens in failure analysis are also discussed. The article concludes with a review of the evaluation of polymers and ceramic materials in failure analysis.

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