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Introduction

1.1 Product failure

It comes as no surprise that products have a limited life in service. But what many might find surprising is the very great range of possible causes of failure, from a large and now very diverse range of materials. The failure modes of most metals are well established, simply because most have been used in service for many years. They have been well studied both in the laboratory and in practical applications, so there is a voluminous literature on the way they fracture, or fail in other ways. That, of course, does not stop further failures, but it does make failures from known causes less likely. Engineers and designers have a large property database available to them to check whether or not a particular ...

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