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X-ray diffraction (XRD) residual-stress analysis is an essential tool for failure analysis. This article focuses primarily on what the analyst should know about applying XRD residual-stress measurement techniques to failure analysis. Discussions are extended to the description of ways in which XRD can be applied to the characterization of residual stresses in a component or assembly and to the subsequent evaluation of corrective actions that alter the residual-stress state of a component for the purposes of preventing, minimizing, or eradicating the contribution of residual stress to premature failures. The article presents a practical approach to sample selection and specimen preparation, measurement location selection, and measurement depth selection; measurement validation is outlined as well. A number of case studies and examples are cited. The article also briefly summarizes the theory of XRD analysis and describes advances in equipment capability.

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