Practical Plant Failure Analysis: A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Practical Plant Failure Analysis

A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability, 1st Edition

By Neville W. Sachs

CRC Press

288 pages | 305 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780849333767
pub: 2006-08-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429132889
pub: 2016-04-19
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Component failures result from a combination of factors involving materials science, mechanics, thermodynamics, corrosion, and tribology. With the right guidance, you don’t have to be an authority in all of these areas to become skilled at diagnosing and preventing failures. Based on the author’s more than thirty years of experience, Practical Plant Failure Analysis: A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability is a down-to-earth guide to improving machinery maintenance and reliability.

Illustrated with hundreds of diagrams and photographs, this book examines…

· When and how to conduct a physical failure analysis

· Basic material properties including heat treating mechanisms, work hardening, and the effects of temperature changes on material properties

· The differences in appearance between ductile overload, brittle overload, and fatigue failures

· High cycle fatigue and how to differentiate between high stress concentrations and high operating stresses

· Low cycle fatigue and unusual fatigue situations

· Lubrication and its influence on the three basic bearing designs

· Ball and roller bearings, gears, fasteners, V-belts, and synchronous belts

Taking a detailed and systematic approach, Practical Plant Failure Analysis thoroughly explains the four major failure mechanisms—wear, corrosion, overload, and fatigue—as well as how to identify them. The author clearly identifies how these mechanisms appear in various components and supplies convenient charts that demonstrate how to identify the specific causes of failure.


“… provides students of mechanical engineering with an interdisciplinary approach to the concept that component failures result from a combination of factors that involve materials science, mechanics, thermodynamics, corrosion, and tribology. … his more than thirty years of experience and expertise to provide the reader with a practical, informative, guide to improving machinery maintenance and reliability. … presents practical guidance on failure mechanism, including what leads to these failures and how to avoid them, … informative text is enhanced with more than 300 photographs and illustrations to develop competence and confidence in visually diagnosing machinery failures. An essential reference and comprehensive instructional guide to diagnosing and dealing with machinery failure, … is a core addition to academic, trade school, and professional reference library collections.”

— In The Midwest Book Review (Wisconsin Bookwatch), July 2007

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Failure Analysis

The Causes of Failures

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Understanding the Roots

The Human Error Study

Latent Roots

How the Multiple Roots Interact

The Benefits and Savings


Some General Considerations on Failure Analysis

The Failure Mechanisms: How They Occur and Their Appearances


Materials and the Sources of Stresses




Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus)



Some Basic Metallurgy

Plain Carbon Steel: The Basics

Understanding Steel Terminology and Material Designations

Strengthening Metals


Overload Failures


Unusual Conditions


Fatigue Failures (Part 1): The Basics

Fatigue Failure Categories

Fatigue (Part 2): Torsional, Low-Cycle, and Very-Low-Cycle Failure Influences and Fatigue Interpretations

Torsional Fatigue Loads

River Marks and Fatigue Crack Growth

Plate and Rectangular Failures

Fatigue Data Reliability and Corrosion Effect on Fatigue Strength

Residual Stress

Combined Fatigue and Steady State Stresses

Base Material Problems

Very-Low-Cycle and Low-Cycle Fatigue

Very-Low-Cycle in Relatively Brittle Materials

VLC in Ductile Materials

Unusual Situations

Failure Examples

Understanding and Recognizing Corrosion

Corrosion Rates

pH Effects

Effect of Available Oxygen

Exposure Time and Flow Effects

Temperature Effects

The Eight Types of Corrosion

Lubrication and Wear

Three Types of Lubricated Contacts

Manufacturing a Lubricant


Lubricant Applications


Defining Wear Mechanisms

Summary Comments on Wear Failures

Belt Drives

Belt Design

Belt Operation and Failure Causes

Drive Efficiencies

Belt Drive Failure Analysis Techniques

Ball and Roller Bearings

Bearing Materials

Parts of a Bearing


Bearing Ratings and Equipment Design

A Detailed Rolling Element Bearing Failure Analysis Procedure

Roller and Tapered Roller Bearing Mounting Surfaces



Gear Terminology

Types of Gears

Tooth Action

Load and Stress Fluctuations

Gear Materials

Tooth Contact Patterns


Design Life and Deterioration Mechanisms

Through-Hardened Gear Deterioration Mechanisms

Case-Hardened Gear Deterioration Mechanisms

Analyzing Gear Failures

Failure Examples


Fastener and Bolted Joint Failures

How Bolts Work

Fastener Failures

Failure Examples

Miscellaneous Machine Element Failures


Lip Seals

Flexible Couplings

Bibliography for Practical Plant Failure Analysis


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Design / General