Today more than ever, there is a need for a wide base of failure analysis case histories. During economically depressed times, integrity and life extension of damaged or aged plant components are vital to the success of our industries. These analyses require extensive data on field experience, documented failure causes and solutions, and in-service materials properties data base to ensure that a reliable fitness-for-service analysis is attainable.
The Failure Analysis Committee of the Materials Testing and Quality Control Division of ASM International recognized the need for a reliable source of failure analysis case studies, and we thus began the groundwork for this series. Volume 1 of Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, published in 1992, includes over 100 new case histories that emphasize methodology, prevention of failures, and evolving methods for fitness-for-service analysis and integrity evaluation in nearly all branches of industry. In Volume 2, the editorial committee has again attempted to present a diversity of cases that reflect the broad range of interests and the various applications of materials in the engineering profession.
Today we must cross the boundaries of science to gain an in-depth appreciation of the complexity of failures. The failure analyst has to consider all the facts, use proper tools, and exercise judgment before reaching conclusions. The case histories in this series reflect this approach to a large extent. Like any compilation of case histories, this series presents the current knowledge of professionals who believe in sharing their experience and recognize the need to contribute to the success of their profession. It also points out the informational gaps in the field of failure analysis, some of which evolved because of constraints imposed on our profession by the current exploitation of liability litigation. Some companies are not in the position to share their experience because they must protect their business interests.
The editorial committee feels that these two volumes will provide professionals in the field with basic knowledge and with a comprehensive approach for conducting an effective failure analysis. The value of this resource will undoubtedly grow as professionals in the field find the means to use this knowledge. Our committee is considering publishing a third volume that would include more nonmetallic material failures. Another goal is to develop a computer database that would assist engineers in identifying the causes of failures and appropriate measures for prevention, and that could provide the needed data for assessment of component integrity and remaining life. Because each properly performed failure analysis study is unique and a valuable learning tool, we invite potential contributors to submit papers and help expand the literature base. Should Volume 2 be as well received as Volume 1 was, and should the users of these volumes indicate a need for a computer database, the committee will work with ASM International to pursue the development of this source of information.
I wish to acknowledge the contributions of all the authors and reviewers; without their dedicated efforts, this series would not have been possible. Special thanks are due to my co-editors, William R. Warke, Herman C. Burghard, and George E. Kerns, for their efforts in planning, structuring, and reviewing this series. Special thanks are also due to William R. Warke and Gregory S. Gerzen of Amoco Research Center for their assistance with Volume 2 and to the editorial staff of ASM International, particularly Mary Thomas Haddad, for their assistance throughout this project. The support of Amoco Corporation throughout this project is greatly acknowledged. I am grateful to my wife, Vicki, and to my children, Camiella, Ahmed, and Yasmeen, for their patience and for allowing me the time to work on this book.
Amoco Research Center Naperville, Illinois