Mar 25, 2016
CCSI: Connector Crime Scene Investigation
Failure analysis investigation requires at least two ingredients: experts and technical means. This article briefly touches on the current expert situation in the US, particularly the effects of globalization. It also describes some of the technical methods used in failure investigation, starting with simple inspection, often aided by an optical microscope, and progressing to more advanced techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray radiography. In case of SEM it describes three main modes of this technology – secondary electron imaging (the most common), back-scatter electron imaging, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. For radiography, it starts with regular high-magnification radiography that allows internal investigation of increasingly smaller parts, and proceeds to a full computer-aided tomography on a small and down to microscopic scale (micro-CT).