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Contaminants can be a cause of numerous types of system failures. There are numerous techniques for confirming contaminant presence. When the presence of a contaminant is suspected, the failure analysis team must find and eliminate the contaminant source, which can be obvious or quite subtle. This chapter summarizes a few commonly encountered contaminant sources to stimulate the reader's thinking about potential contaminant sources. A case study of titanium component washing at Litton Lasers is presented to illustrate how the presence of contaminants leads to a system failure.

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