Railway Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering

Fracture and Failure Analysis

Fracture analysis: Analysis of fracture from visual, physical and material properties and characteristios evidence

Fatigue analysis and interpretations: Analysis of material fatigue failure from design, material properties and stress history points of view

Catastrophic and overload failure: Analysis of failures by ultilising fracture mechanics principles to evaluate stress and critical flaw conditions

Important considerations

Failure of critical components can result in safety issues such as derailments, crashes or very expensive repair costs. It is important to analyse failures thoroughly in order to gain an understanding of the root cause of the failure.
It is important to consider all information on the failed component. This includes service history, loads, material properties, maintenance history and repairs (such as welding)done to the failed component.
Good quality photographs of the component in situ as well as of the fracture face is required before disassembly or disecting of components for further analysis.

MCE provides failure and fatigue analysis including the following:

  • Full failure analysis including all aspects of the component
  • Visual analysis based on visual examination of the failed component or good quality photographs and function and the history of the component.
  • Analysis of critical crack and flaw sizes.
  • Recommendations on non destructive testing, based on crack and flaw sizes, to ensure safe operation.
  • Recommendations on condition monitoring to ensure detection of unsafe conditions.
  • Fatigue failure analysis and stress and strain cycle evaluation to ensure safe operations.
  • Evaluations of designs based on failure modes and/or design standards to ensure safe operations.
  • and more....

Railway Condition Monitoring

Selection of Condition Monitoring System: Assist in specification and selection of systems.

Placement of Condition Monitoring Systems: Assist in selecting location and spacing of systems for maximum effect.

Condition Monitoring System data analysis: Assist in analysis and interpretation of component condition data.

Condition monitoring system considerations

Condition monitoring systems ensure long term maintenance cost management and track safety. Failure of critical components can result in catastrophic system failure which include costly derailments and safety issues. The design, placement and spacing of condition monitoring systems are of importance to ensure that component failures are eliminated.
Trending condition monitoring system data can be used to plan and schedule maintenance actions resulting in smooth operation and cost control.

MCE provides railway condition monitoring expertise in:

  • Interpretation of monitoring system data.
  • Relating condition monitoring system outputs to actual condition of components.
  • Analysis of trends in condition monitoring system measurements.
  • Determination of condition monitoring system measurement limits.
  • Determination of placement of condition monitoring systems along track.
  • and more....

Expert Witness Service

Damage litigation: Experience as expert witness in damage litigation cases such as failure of large engineering structures

Disaster litigation: Experience as expert witness in disaster litigation such as train disasters where there is significant loss of life

MCE can provide expert witness service and support:

Expert witness service and support can be provided in litigation when failure of engineering structures are involved. The examples shown here are typical of the level of service that can be provided.


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