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Failure Analysis & accident investigation Corrosion engineering Fire investigation Expert witness in litigation Design & structural analysis Condition assessment
Failure Analysis and Forensic Accident Investigation

Failures and accidents often occur on products, facilities, infrastructures, production line and work sites in various industrial sectors, not only resulting in huge economic loss but also fatalities in some cases. It’s critical and imperative to perform failure analysis and fornsic investigation to determine the failure cause(s), failure mechanism(s) and provide counter measures to prevent similar failure(s) recurrence in future. Effective failure analysis (FA) and accident investigation can not only enhance reliability and safety of products and infrastructures, but also improve product quality and reduce operational cost and down time of facilities so that improve productivity.
Some newly awarded failure analysis and accident investigation projects:
  • Failure analysis and accident investigation on explosion of electric storage water heater by Consumer Safety Department of Singapore Government - Spring Singapore/Enterprise Singapore
  • Failure analysis investigation on damage items at and/or recovered from incident sites (two year contract + one year option) by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
  • Failure analysis on fractured manhole framesets from Public Utilities Board (PUB)

  • UTC team consists of experts with more than 35 years of relevant industrial and research experience as well as qualifications. The key staff has successfully led and completed thousands of projects in forensic analysis, accident investigation, failure analysis (FA), condition assessment for aerospace, marine, petrochemical, electronic and microelectronic, construction, amusement, oil & gas, transportation industries and governmental agencies including Ministry of Defence (Singapore), Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Hyundai Engineering and Construction (Korea), Public Utilities Board (PUB), The Straits Times, SBS Transit, High Court, State Courts, China Taiping Insurance, Rajah & Tann, WongPartnership, Universal Terminal, Singapore Navy, SMRT, Resort World of Sentosa(RWS), Shell, ST Aerospace, Eagle Services Asia, SIA Engineering, HP, Dell, ST Marine, Takenaka Corporation (Japan) and Sembawang Shipyard, etc.

    Expert areas

    Recent relevant publications

      Recently, UTC had published articles on failure analysis and accident investigation as follows:

    • "Improving quality and reliabity through effective failure analysis" was presented in Symposium on Materials Processing, Inspection and Testing held on August 24, 2017, Malaysia.

    • Click here to read more on presentation slides.

    • "Forensic investigation on crane accidents" was published in International Journal on Forensic Engineering, Vol.3 No 4, 2017.

    • Click here to read the partial article.
      For full article, please contact the publisher.


      Effective failure analysis (FA) and accident investigation will:

    • Determine root cause(s) of failures/accidents/incidents.
    • Find out mechanism(s) of failures, incidents and accidents.
    • Recommend counter measures and solutions to prevent recurrence of failures and accidents.
    • Support litigation/court hearing on litigation/liabilities related to failures and accidents

    • Click here to understand more about what is effective failure analysis and accident investigation.

    Available Analytical Techniques

      According to the project requirements, following techniques are available for our failure analysis and accident investigation projects:

    • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
    • Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectrometry (EDX)
    • Sectional Metallography
    • Tensile / Compressive test
    • Charpy impact test
    • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
    • X-ray photonelectron spectrometry (XPS)
    • Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR)
    • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
    • Thermaogravimetry analysis (TGA)
    • Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
    • Radiographic Testing (RT)
    • Liquid/dye Penetration Test (LT)

    Typical materials involved

      Our failure analysis and accident investigation team had dealed and experienced with following materials:

    • carbon/alloy steels
    • cast irons
    • stainless steel
    • aluminium alloys
    • copper alloys
    • titanium alloys
    • nickel alloys
    • super alloys
    • magnesium alloys
    • etc.

    • PVC
    • PE
    • PC
    • SAN
    • polyester
    • epoxy
    • alkyd
    • etc.

    • composites
    • glass
    • semiconductors
    • ceramics
    • cements
    • gypsum
    • thin films and coatings/paints
    • etc.

    Common failure mechanisms

    Our failure analysis and accident investigation projects were related to following failure mechanisms:

  • fatigue
  • stress corrosion cracking
  • overstress rupture
  • ductile fracture
  • brittle fracture
  • localised corrosion
  • hydrogen embrittlement
  • creep
  • wear
  • cavitation erosion
  • liquid metal embrittlement
  • buckling
  • galvanic corrosion
  • pitting
  • crevice corrosion
  • intergranular corrosion
  • contact fatigue
  • corrosion fatigue
  • leaching
  • under-deposit corrosion
  • electrical overstress
  • electrical migration
  • electrical arcing
  • hot cracking
  • lack of fusion/penetration
  • contamination
  • P-N junction breakdown
  • etc.

    Common manufacturing processes involved

    The failed products/devices/facilities in our failure analysis and accident investigation projects were made by:

  • welding
  • milling
  • turning
  • drilling
  • brazing
  • grinding
  • hot and cold forming
  • forging
  • casting
  • bonding
  • CVD deposition
  • PVD deposition
  • etching
  • plating
  • coating
  • bolt joining
  • cleaning
  • chemical treatment
  • heat treatment
  • assembly
  • moulding
  • cutting
  • etc.

    Typical projects

      Our experts had successfully accomplished thousands of failure analysis and accident investigation projects, some typical cases are listed as follows:

    • Failure analysis on damages of mechanical system of amusement rides (track, roller coaster vehicle)
    • Forensic investigation on mass rapid transport system/ subway accident (trains, power supply, track)
    • Forensic investigation on taxi fire and explosion
    • Investigation on accidents of cranes (wire rope breakage, boom frame fracture, brake system failure, crane topple)
    • Failure analysis on aerospace engine damages (turbine blades, fan blades, vanes, etc.)
    • Investigation on paint and coating failures
    • Forensic investigation on automotive steering system failure
    • Failure analysis on lift wire rope fracture/breakage/snapped
    • Forensic investigation on car/vehicle fire and explosion
    • Failure analysis on landing gear system failure
    • Failure investigation on hovercraft accident (gearbox, propeller) in shipyard
    • Failure analysis on damages in gas and steam turbines
    • Failure investigation on notebook computer burning
    • Failure analysis on gearbox explosion
    • Forensic investigation on failures in jack-up rigs (pipe corrosion, glass cracking)
    • Failure investigation on extra-hydrogen release in huge battery of Submarine
    • Investigation on failures of PCB, PCBA, LCD, passive components and IC
    • Forensic investigation on heat exchanger burst
    • Failure analysis on submarine power cable damage
    • Failure investigation on winch wire rope snapping in construction site
    • Forensic investigation on transformer fire in plant
    • Failure analysis on engine components (piston, crankshaft, camshaft, bearings, connecting rod, bolts, engine block, etc.) in workshop
    • Forensic investigation on explosion of power distribution system in plant
    • Failure investigation on large ship-lifting system welding joint cracking in shipyard
    • Forensic investigation on incidents in Singapore Flyer
    • Failure analysis of pipeline and piping system according to FITNET FFS
    • Investigation on failures in building and structures etc.