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Practical Plant Failure Analysis

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$ 50.00


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: A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability 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.


  • Presents practical guidance on failure mechanisms, what leads to these failures, and how to avoid them in the future
  • Integrates aspects of mechanics, corrosion, materials science, and tribology into a clear and concise approach
  • Provides easy-to-follow charts that help you logically diagnose a failure and take appropriate corrective action
  • Supplies more than 300 photographs and illustrations that help build confidence and competence in visual diagnosis
  • Contains a clear and detailed explanation of the differences between through- and case-hardened gear teeth


Neville W. Sachs








As every reliability professional has seen, another area where the value of failure analysis commonly isn't utilized involves the practice of routinely scheduled outages. Should maintenance be scheduled based on the position of the sun or the moon and end up with monthly or annual outages? What is the real difference between a scheduled outage and a breakdown? The need for maintenance has to be recognized but in many cases the time between these "scheduled failures" can be greatly lengthened by analysis of the need for the various phases of the outage. We have never seen a situation where, after a competent and detailed analysis, the time between outages hasn't been increased by at least 50%.

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
    • Summary
  • Some General Considerations on Failure Analysis
    • The Failure Mechanisms: How They Occur and Their Appearances
    • Summary
  • Materials and the Sources of Stresses
    • Stress
    • Elasticity
    • Plasticity
    • Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus)
    • Toughness
    • Fatigue
    • Some Basic Metallurgy
    • Plain Carbon Steel: The Basics
    • Understanding Steel Terminology and Material Designations
    • Strengthening Metals
    • Summary
  • Overload Failures
    • Introduction
    • Unusual Conditions
    • Summary
  • 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
    • Greases
    • Lubricant Applications
    • Summary
    • 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
    • Cages
    • Bearing Ratings and Equipment Design
    • A Detailed Rolling Element Bearing Failure Analysis Procedure
    • Roller and Tapered Roller Bearing Mounting Surfaces
    • Summary
  • Gears
    • Gear Terminology
    • Types of Gears
    • Tooth Action
    • Load and Stress Fluctuations
    • Gear Materials
    • Tooth Contact Patterns
    • Backlash
    • Design Life and Deterioration Mechanisms
    • Through-Hardened Gear Deterioration Mechanisms
    • Case-Hardened Gear Deterioration Mechanisms
    • Analyzing Gear Failures
    • Failure Examples
    • Summary
  • Fastener and Bolted Joint Failures
    • How Bolts Work
    • Fastener Failures
    • Failure Examples
  • Miscellaneous Machine Element Failures
    • Chains
    • Lip Seals
    • Flexible Couplings
  • Bibliography for Practical Plant Failure Analysis
  • Index


Providing a clear explanation of the major failure mechanisms and how to identify them, Practical Plant Failure Analysis describes mechanisms, wear, corrosion, overload, and fatigue. Showing how the failure mechanisms appear in components such as shafts, bearings, and gears, it examines many of the critical operating details in an accessible manner. It offers charts that illustrate how to identify specific failure. Additional coverage includes physical failure analysis, basic materials properties, differences between ductile and brittle overload failures, high and low cycle fatigue, lubrication, ball and roller bearings, fastener failures, V-belts, and synchronous belts.

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