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Expert Serivces in Failure Analysis

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Colorado Metallurgical Services has the ability to analyze the inevitable failures (or pre-existing defects that could cause a potential failure) that materialize during testing, manufacturing, and service of components. Our root-cause failure analysis services provide information and assessments that are crucial for the continual improvement of component quality and performance within all business sectors.


In the course of the 25 years that we have been in business, CMS has conducted failure analysis investigations, corrosion analysis and evaluations, metallurgical consulting, and forensic metallurgical investigations of components in the following applications:

  • Pipelines, pressure-vessels, and machinery in the oil and natural gas industries

  • Heat exchangers and boilers in HVAC industries

  • Monitoring equipment and airfoils in the propulsion and power-generation industries

  • Fan blades and fastening hardware in the wind power-generation industry

  • Cranes and fastening hardware of industrial construction equipment

  • Rotary hardware and stabilization equipment of recreational and industrial aircraft

  • Utility pole hardware in the lighting industry

  • Pulverization equipment in the coal power-generation industry

  • Fastening hardware in the railroad transportation industry

  • Sound dampening hardware in the power-generation industry



Our 12,000 square foot facility is equipped with a diverse array of calibrated testing equipment and reliable data acquisition systems, which assists CMS in providing a much more time-efficient, in-depth set of services, as compared to other laboratory or consulting services. This unique approach of combining testing facilities with failure analysis services provides CMS with an integrated investigation model that greatly benefits the different needs of our many clients, which include the aerospace, nuclear, oil and gas, automotive, structural, and mining industries. 

Services, Testing and Analytical Capabilities

Colorado Metallurgical Services has the ability to conduct failure analysis investigations in the field, within our laboratory, or both. Listed below are the services we can provide in these two settings:


In the Field

  • Photographic documentation of failure site(s), with dimensional references.

  • Collection, identification, and preservation of failed component(s), coupled with photographic documentation and dimensional references.

  • Investigative documentation of witness interviews and component service records.

  • Non-destructive sampling of a component's on-site microstructural state via film replication methods.

  •  Non-destructive examination (NDE) of a component via liquid penetrant or magnetic particle testing methods.

  • Destructive sampling of component for subsequent testing and analysis at the CMS facility.



  • Photographic documentation of the as-received component, with dimensional references.

  • Sampling of products or deposits on component surfaces, such as corrosion by-products or scales, foreign objects, etc.

  • Ultrasonic cleaning of a component and its fracture surfaces.

  • Non-destructive examination (NDE) of a component via liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, and radiographic testing methods.

  • Destructive component sectioning, so as to preserve fracture surfaces for fractographic analysis via stereo-microscopy or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). 

  • Semi-quantitative chemical composition analysis of fracture surfaces via energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS).

  • Metallographic preparation and analysis of specimens obtained from destructive component sectioning.

  • Chemical composition analysis via optical emission microscopy (OES) of specimens obtained from destructive component sectioning.

  • Mechanical performance testing of specimens obtained from destructive component sectioning.


 Recommended Steps for Initiating an Investigation by Colorado Metallurgical Services 

  • Mitigate damage and alteration of the fracture surfaces or of the component(s) in question. Refrain from mating or re-piecing fracture surfaces.

  • Preserve the failure site and prevent any tampering of the location or state of the component(s) in question.

  • Contact CMS in order to receive assistance regarding the documentation, preservation, and shipment of the component(s) in question, or an on-site failure analysis investigation.

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