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Failure Analysis in Corrosion Engineering

The depth of the analysis into the roots of the failure is the key to accurately unearthing all of the failure sources. Looking at machinery failures one finds that there are:

The more detailed the analysis, the better we understand all the events and mechanisms that contribute as the roots of the problem. We generally think of dividing analyses into three categories in order of complexity and depth of investigation and they are:

Although the cost increases as the analyses become more complex the benefit is that there is a much more complete recognition of the true origins. Using a CFA to solve the causes of a component failure answers why that specific part or machine failed and can be used to prevent similar future failures. Progressing to an RCI, we find the cost is five to ten times that of a CFA but the RCI adds a detailed understanding of the human errors contributing to the breakdown and can be used to eliminate groups of similar problems in the future. However conducting an RCA and correcting the major roots will eliminate huge classes of problems.

From "Understanding Why It Failed" by Neville W. Sachs, P.E. Sachs, Salvaterra & Associates, Syracuse, NY