Metallurgical Testing

Our Metallurgical Services

MECHANICAL WELD TESTING

RTL offers a full-service mechanical testing laboratory that routinely conducts tensile, yield elongation, reduction of area, Charpy impact, Rockwell, Vickers, and Brinell hardness testing on a wide variety of ferrous and non-ferrous materials and weldments. Our combination of highly experienced technicians, competitive pricing, and fast turnaround time provides the perfect solution to your testing needs.

Mechanical testing provides information on the strength, hardness, ductility, impact resistance, and fracture toughness of materials or weldments. These mechanical properties help determine if the material or weldment meets design or specification requirements.

RTL offers extensive laboratory test facilities to perform mechanical testing, metallographic preparation, analytical testing, and sample preparation in our in-house machine shop. If you have any questions regarding testing, please contact us and we will see how we can help.

WELD FAILURE ANALYSIS

RTL is proud to offer professional, expert services in failure analysis. Any reports produced by RTL and opinions expressed on the behalf of RTL will always be supported by certified testing procedures and calibrated equipment.

Failure analysis is the general term used for the combination of methods used in determining why a material, component, or weldment did not perform as expected. Failures can be very simple or very complex and can be caused by latent defects. There are many causes of failures ranging from overloads, brittleness, ductility, fatigue, misuse, wear, corrosion, environmental exposure, poor design, incorrect or poor fabrication, accidents, damage, oversight, material mix-up, lack of training, design error, sabotage, and many other causes. Our entire focus of failure analysis is to determine the root cause of a component’s or weldment’s catastrophic fracture, performance failure, or degradation. Our multi-faceted, investigative approach guarantees an efficient use of your time and resources.

The sooner a failure analysis can begin, the sooner the results and conclusions may be available. This is because the sooner the failure analysis begins there are more details and more accurate information about the facts surrounding the failure that are available and fresh. Documentary photographs should be taken showing the surrounding conditions and the effects of the failure. Analysis should be performed before degradation occurs that may destroy key evidence or the fracture surfaces. The main reason to begin the analysis as soon as possible is to identify the cause, which can be used to determine if there are other potential latent failures, have time to develop test methods to find other similar defects, and take steps to prevent similar failures from occurring that may lead to additional damages.

Each failure analysis is unique and there is no one size fits all when determining the types of testing required to conduct a root-cause failure analysis; therefore, the cost will vary based on the types of testing methods used and time needed, but an “Estimated Cost” can be provided once the material, component or weldment to be analyzed have been received. We also perform failure analysis using “Not to Exceed Cost”, requiring approval to proceed beyond prior cost limitations.

CHEMICAL ANALYSIS

RTL has the ability and experience to meet all your chemical analysis needs. We understand that material composition is critical to a material’s weldability, machinability, durability, and stability in its intended use. As materials have diversified there has been a surge of new alloys emerging which are lighter, stronger, and more heat, chemical, and exposure resistant that are designed to meet a variety of specific end-use. These may include renewable or recycled materials, making composition and material properties more challenging to identify and control.

RTL is equipped with a wide range of techniques and instrumentations to meet any chemical analysis testing requirement, regardless of chemical composition, material shape, or size. We pride ourselves on analyzing material elements from “a” to “z”. We are equipped with a wide range of techniques and instrumentation to identify the chemical composition, determine the chemical quality, and identify any impurities: Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES), Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer (SEM/EDS) with Backscatter Electron Imaging (BSE), LECO Combustion Analysis (Hydrogen per ASTM E1447, Nitrogen & Oxygen per ASTM E1019).

Whether you seek to verify a material certification or to obtain a detailed breakdown of an unknown material, RTL has the expertise to provide you with the analysis needed for your specific application and end goals

CORROSION TESTING

As reported by NACE International in the International Measures of Prevention, Application, and Economics of Corrosion Technologies (IMPACT) 2016 study, “The global cost of corrosion is estimated to be US$2.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 3.4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (2013).” This inconceivable figure is independent of indirect cost which is estimated to be as enormous as the direct cost noted.

Corrosion is a form of material degradation that happens when material interacts with its environment. It can happen in any form and cause a range of material alterations from mechanical damage through changes in physical properties to changes in physical appearance. There is an intricate relationship between material chemistry, microstructure, surface condition, environmental chemistry humidity, and temperature that affect corrosion mechanisms, especially those that impact the useful life cycle. Since a large number of factors affect corrosion behavior and corrosion resistance, there are no universal corrosion tests. RTL can provide different exposure tests to examine the corrosion resistance properties of your material or component using the most relevant regulations, codes, and standards.

POSITIVE MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION

Positive Material Identification (PMI) is the analysis of a metallic alloy to establish composition by reading the percentage quantities of its constituent elements. This non-destructive testing method is to determine the elemental composition of the material using a portable X-Ray fluorescent (XRF) analyzer.

The consequences of using the wrong material can range from costly to disastrous and may involve loss of property, loss of revenue, and even loss of life.

At RTL we use PMI primarily to:

  • Rapidly verify alloys

  • Analyze material that can’t be analyzed through destructive methods

  • Quickly sort materials

  • Initial validation prior to destructive testing