A review of the science and art of visual examination in failure analysis

  • D. Christie
Peer Reviewed Articles


Visual examination is usually the first step in a failure analysis, but it is not a subject about which much has been written. In this paper, techniques of visual examination and documentation using digital photography are discussed. The use of different types of lighting to reveal characteristics of manufactured and fracture surfaces is explored. Practical examples of lighting setups and photographs obtained using these setups are presented.


analysis examination failure inspection lighting photography visual 


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  1. C. Brooks and A. Choudhury: Metallurgical Failure Analysis, McGraw-Hill, 1993.Google Scholar

Selected References

  1. F. Hunter and P. Fuqua: Light-Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, Focal Press, Butterworth, 1990.Google Scholar
  2. R. McSwain: “Photography in Failure Analysis,” Failure Analysis and Prevention, vol. 11, ASM Handbook, ASM International, 2002, pp. 418–28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Christie
    • 1
  1. 1.IMR Test LabsLansing

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