Chemical and Food Processing
We carry out failure analysis on specialty chemical, industrial chemical and food processing equipment. This equipment includes storage tanks, process vessels, heat exchangers, pumps, piping, economizers and boilers.
We have a fully equipped laboratory for cross-sectioning, metallographic preparation, and optical and scanning electron microscope examination. The work often involves weld related failures, mechanical failures, general corrosion, localized corrosion, corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and bi-metallic corrosion.
The work is carried out by personnel with many years of experience in alloy development, welding, fabrication and plant operation.
We provide short courses on materials engineering, corrosion and failure analysis related to the process industries.
We carry out corrosion testing, materials selection and failure analysis for the ethanol industry. The failure analysis work has included well water and process piping corrosion, wear in pumps as well as corrosion fatigue in plate type evaporators. We also have experience with failure analysis in shell and tube evaporators, economizers, boilers and with rotary dryers for distillers grains.
The failure analysis work is carried out in a fully equipped metallurgical laboratory using advanced metallographic and scanning electron microscope techniques.
We carry out corrosion testing for the selection of materials of construction for ethanol plants including cellulosic pathways.
We also provide short courses at ethanol plants on materials of construction, elements of corrosion, welding metallurgy and failure analysis.
Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
We have over twenty years’ experience in the root cause failure analysis of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. This work has covered load locks, transfer chambers robotic components, chambers and chamber parts, cooling systems, ESC’s, susceptors, high purity gas lines, mass flow controllers, regulators, filters and valves. We routinely examine parts for contamination produced during manufacture or process exposure.
Our Zeiss SEM with Thermo Fisher Silicon Drift EDS detector has the most advanced software available for particle analysis, mapping and line scans.
The corrosion laboratory is equipped to carry out general and localized corrosion tests using immersion and electrochemical techniques. The corrosion laboratory is used for the worldwide qualification of electropolishing processes per the ASTM G-150 and Semi F-77 CPT pitting tests.
Welding, Brazing and Coatings
We carry out failure analysis and quality evaluation of welds, brazes, metallic and non-metallic coatings.
Welding processes include EB welding, TIG and MIG welding, submerged arc welding and manual metal arc welding.
Brazing processes cover manual brazing, dip brazing, as well as vacuum and hydrogen brazing; materials systems covered include stainless steels, electroplated and electroless nickel coatings, aluminum and copper alloys as well as ceramic to metal systems and ceramic to ceramics systems.
We employ advanced metallographic polishing and etching techniques combined with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis to examine these systems.
Packaging (aerosol cans, food cans, beverage cans, paint pails, glass bottles)
We carry out failure analysis, materials testing and quality evaluation of packaging materials.
Our packaging experts and material scientists have experience in aerosol cans, food cans, plastic polymer packaging, corrugated boxes, beverage cans, and glass bottles and jars.
This includes the analysis of the raw materials, testing of the packaging dimensions, formation of the containers, and their overall performance.
We employ industry standards, advanced metallographic polishing and etching techniques, combined with scanning electron microscopy, to examine these systems.