Laboratory & Material Engineering
Failure Analysis and Accident Investigations
Failure Analysis requires broad-based engineering skills, fundamental materials knowledge, forensic experience, and scientific objectivity. With our integrated engineering and laboratory capabilities, we provide this unusually broad capability as well as the recognition that a quick response is often necessary. We are involved from initial on-site inspection, to analysis and lab testing, to litigation support, when needed.
Thousands of significant accidents occur in North America daily. A thorough accident investigation is crucial both to determine the event cause and to help avoid similar events in the future.
Effective accident investigations require:
- Responsive, thorough field investigations
- Seasoned technical and engineering expertise
- Knowledgeable laboratory and analytical support
- Flexibility and depth to perform both large and small investigations
- Knowledge of evidence preservation techniques
- Timely, clear and concise presentations and reports
Altran applies all of these attributes to many industries including insurance and subrogation, electric and gas utilities, construction and many others. Our experts travel on short notice and bring a wealth of information regarding the failure of machinery, equipment and structures.
The breadth of our engineering and scientific expertise coupled with the capabilities of our investigative laboratory allow us to offer a unique capability to our clients.
Testing and Simulations
Tests and mock-up simulations are often used to solve complex engineering problems or to assess a material, system, structure or component on-site or in the laboratory. Our 5,000 square foot testing and analysis laboratory allows us to perform a wide range of laboratory testing including:
- Mechanical Testing and Finite Element Stress Analysis
- Laboratory Investigations on a Wide Range of Materials—metals, polymers, bio-materials, composites, glass and ceramics, coatings, lubricants
- System Fluid Flow Simulations
Designing or redesigning a product requires a thorough understanding of materials, components, and systems. Our experience with failure mechanisms for a multitude of products in various industries gives our clients the edge to successfully develop their next product.
To do this, we work with our clients to review the materials and/or structural components of your design. We investigate materials and components using our engineering and laboratory-based analytical tools to provide independent assessments and recommendations. We offer complete design support consulting services, including:
- Customer setups and prototype testing
- Analysis of product failures or degradation
- Comparative product analysis and testing
- Finite element stress, functionality, and fluid flow analyses
- Product and material qualification
Altran's Hot Lab allows us to offer the full services of Altran Laboratories to projects involving radioactive material. We are able to examine, test, and analyze radioactive samples without requiring prior decontamination that could remove evidence valuable to the analysis.
We are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health Radiation Control Program. As an "agreement state" with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Massachusetts is granted the authority to issue and oversee licenses for radioactive materials, as well as monitor personnel exposure.
Altran also conforms to US Department of Transportation regulations regarding shipping and receiving of radioactive materials.
Altran views problems from the material, component and system perspectives. Understanding system operation, component design, and material behavior characteristics allows us to approach problems from a broad perspective while understanding the basic material characteristics and degradation mechanisms and their influence on components and systems.
Altran brings to bear:
- A diverse range of exprience in corrosion engineering and materials degradation, relying upon on-site field services and laboratory investigations.
- Broad-based engineering skills integrated with materials knowledge and forensic techniques.
- A strong foundation in materials: ferrous and nonferrous metals, concrete, ceramics, elastomers, polymers, coatings, and lubricants.
Altran is committed to:
- Testing components and materials during the design phase to avoid costly and time-consuming operational or product failures.
- Training and educating our clients in materials-related subjects, including corrosion, material selection, reliability improvement, aging assessments, and failure prevention.
We simulate process or field conditions via customized tests, including stress analysis and various mechanical, fluids and materials tests.
We bring the right combination of our strong, well-rounded engineering and scientific team together in the work we do for our clients. A critical part of our problem-solving ability is our internal laboratory that allows us to integrate the material, design, and operational aspects of a problem and to conduct testing and simulations.
With our 5,000 square foot laboratory facility in Boston, we are able to provide a full range of testing services that span the full spectrum of engineered materials.
Corrosion, wear, and deposits on structures and equipment can lead to accelerated aging, reduced reliability, and operational problems. Altran provides a diverse range of corrosion engineering and testing services, from failure analysis to materials selection. As facilities and equipment age, the needs to understand and correctly resolve corrosion and materials-related issues have become a fundamental element of a plant optimization and reliability strategy. Altran's experience with corrosion in manufacturing and product development environments uniquely enables us to provide practical and cost-effective solutions.
Our materials science and engineering center works in conjunction with our engineering staff to provide in-plant field services and laboratory-based services. Testing of selected materials during the design process can often avoid costly and time-consuming operational failures. Altran Solutions' extensive electrochemical capabilities enable the performance of tests such as polarization resistance, cyclic polarization, potentio-dynamic polarization, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy under a wide range of environmental conditions.