TMS Professional Development
The Role of Fractography in Failure Analysis
Live event held March 10, 2016

Presented by: Donato Firrao, Board of Trustees President, Collegio Universitario di Torino
Sponsored by: TMS Extraction & Processing Division (EPD) and the Materials Characterization Committee

To perform failure analysis of broken components, it is always important to assess whether the rupture was of the ductile or the brittle type in the case of fracture by overload, or in the case of fracture by fatigue. This task is usually straightforward in monophasic structures, but can become extremely difficult when the components have a complex microstructure, such as in the case of pearlitic steels or of Al-Si cast alloys microstructures. This webinar illustrates the interplay between metallography and fractography by means of examples of real failure analysis cases encompassing either overload or fatigue fractures.
Topical Outline:
  • Examples of complex microstructures of metals (phase diagrams and metallography): Hypoeutectoid ferritic-pearlitic steels, eutectoid pearlitic steels, hypoeutectic Al-Si alloys for castings
  • Overload fractures at temperature above and below ductile-to-brittle transition of ferritic-pearlitic and pearlitic steels (fractography)
  • Ductile fatigue surfaces of ferritic-pearlitic and pearlitic steels (fractography)
  • Micromechanics interpretation of the above items
  • Overload fractures of Al-Si-Mg alloy components (fractography)
  • Fatigue surfaces of Al-Si-Mg components (fractography)
  • Micromechanics interpretation of the above
  • Conclusions

Failure analysis and metallurgy experts, as well as Ph.D. students in mechanical and metallurgical engineering will benefit from participating in this webinar. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of special microstructure steels and Al cast alloys (e.g., mechanical engineering components, railway steels, automotive and motorcycle structural components). They will also learn ways to detect difficult-to-pinpoint features that can reveal whether a rupture surface is attrbuted to overload or fatigue in complex microstructure alloys.

Donato Firrao, born in Bari, Italy, earned his Laurea in chemical engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, in 1968 and his M.Sc. in metallurgical engineering at The Ohio State University (OSU), on a Fulbright Scholarship. He began teaching in 1968 as an assistant professor of ferrous extractive metallurgy, and as a lecturer of chemistry at the Politecnico di Torino in 1971. In 1983, he became the associate professor of technology of Metallic material, gaining full professorship in the same subject just three years later. He has also served as a visiting fellow at the OSU materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1979. He was named Distinguished Alumnus of OSU in 2003. Firrao has authored more than 225 papers, primarily in the fields of physical and mechanical metallurgy and surface heat treatments. He is a member of Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia (AIM), ASTM International, ESIS, TMS and its parent organization the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), and the Turin Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of ASM International, a founding partner of the Italian Fracture Group (IGF). At IGF, Firrao served as secretary since its establishment in 1982, and later as president between 1988 and 1994. Firrao also served as co-chair of the ESIS Technical Committee I (Elasto-Plastic Fracture Mechanics) from 1987 to 1996. He was president of the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) from 2000 to 2001. Since 1994, Firro has been the president of the board of trustees of the Collegio Universitario di Torino (a private nonprofit university student housing foundation) as well as, from 2005 to 2012, dean of the first College of Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino. As an expert in failure analysis, he has acted as technical advisor to the judge in national and international trials (such as the Ustica aircraft crash, the Mattei affair, and the Sgrena/Calipari case).
The live webinar event was held on March 10, 2016, but the webinar recording is still available for purchase. Please note that after your purchase the webinar recording, you will receive an order confirmation e-mail from TMS. Please watch your inbox for a separate message from TMS Professional Development staff with information and links to access the webinar recording.
Registration Fees:
Member Rate $35
Nonmember Rate $55
Institutional/Group Rate $125