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Subject Failure Analysis - Automotive Brackets

Metal brackets used on certain automobiles were breaking. This could result in a potentially dangerous outcome if the vehicle is in operation at the time of failure.

 

Physical testing of the brackets revealed that they had a tendency to break at forces below the intended limit by both Tensile and Flexural analysis. Further testing by microscopy was employed on cross-sectioned pieces of the fractured parts. The result of testing indicated that the parts were of inferior quality. Instead of high grade steel the parts were made from standard steel and coated with chrome. In addition, the steel used was found to have microscopic air voids within the metal. The part, which was made in China, was inferior to that specified by the engineer.

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