Case Study

Electrical Energy Company

Using fracture analysis to examine steel lug on an electrical transformer.

When a transformer support fractured suddenly and unexpectedly, equipment failure analysis was urgently required to examine the cause of the fracture.


The steel fixing lugs on an electrical transformer unit experienced an unexpected fracture. The exposed environment was challenging for the end user. The failure required immediate investigation into the root cause in order to prevent such a repeat catastrophic event. 


With our customary attention to detail, we closely examined the fracture surfaces using cutting-edge optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Following extensive weld failure analysis, we concluded that the sudden failure of the transformer unit was due to both fatigue failure followed by overloading was the cause of the sudden failure of the unit. This was identified to be due to the end user incorrectly fixing the transformer which exposed it to a severe alternating stress environment.


Following our fracture analysis, we recommended new loading parameters be implemented to avoid repeated fatigue in the future, and to relieve further strain on the welds.