Critical assessment: forensic metallurgy–the difficulties

S. V. Hainsworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forensic metallurgists are asked to address failures across a wide range of materials, length-scales, and applications. This requires in-depth knowledge of metallurgical principles, manufacturing, and engineering fields. The metallurgist will be asked to determine whether or not the appropriate engineering or quality standards have been followed–and this may be the Standards that were in place at the time of manufacture, not those currently in place–and whether the failure results from use or abuse. The paper reviews how these skills have been applied to a range of historical and contemporary cases involving failure and discusses some of the issues that are important for determining the root cause of a problem. Some difficulties in current approaches are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1553-1559
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Science and Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number14
Early online date5 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Materials Science and Technology on 6/6/2017, available online at:


  • failure analysis
  • Forensic
  • metallurgy
  • microstructure


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