Failure analysis is used to determine why a failure has happened. Consequently, it is a crucial part of reliability testing and analysis.
Failure analysis is a useful tool if unexpected failures have occurred in your product during use. With carefully selected failure analysis methods you can find out what went wrong and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.
Failure analysis starts typically with electrical measurements and visual inspection. The analysis can then be continued using other non-destructive methods such as scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM). This technique enables analysis of cracks and delaminations within components and joints using acoustic signals.
Very often failure analysis is performed by preparing cross-sections of the failed structure. By carefully grinding and polishing the surface, one can use various microscopic techniques to study very small details of the failed structures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with elemental analysis is a typical and effective analysis method to determine the reasons for the failures.