Distorsion failures

The term "failure," means the inability of a part or assembly to perform its intended function for any reason. We usually think of failure in terms of fracture, wear, or corrosion. Even in the absence of any of these three factors, however, a part can also fail when distortion of size or shape prevents the performance of its intended function.

Distortion failures are readily identified by the inherent change in size and/or shape; however, correction of a distortion failure may be far from simple. This is because distortion encompasses details of design and structural analysis, as well as materials technology. Another complication is that distortion may result from residual stresses within the metal as well as from applied stresses.

Distortion failures are serious because they can lead to other types of failure or may even cause complete collapse of structures such as bridges, ladders, beams, and columns. Distortion at elevated temperatures, or creep, depends upon the interrelationship between component design and the high-temperature properties of the metal.
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