Rotech’s Metallurgy Test Lab in Wednesbury has been working with a specialist medical supplier that develops surgical implant systems, to investigate a fractured stainless steel drill bit and identify the reason for failure.
The Rotech team conducted a Hardness Testing visual investigation in accordance with to BS EN ISO 6507-1 2005 and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) Fractography/Microscopical Investigation. The visual inspection on the drill bit fracture revealed surface staining and damaged edges.
Calcium deposits (bone) were found on the fractured drill bit although it had been thoroughly sterilised after use. This was identified by the SEM/EDAX (Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy).
The fractured drill bit failure was investigated to prevent the likelihood of future failures. All the customer’s products are developed, designed and tested to meet internationally required quality standards.
Hardness Testing was carried out in accordance with BS EN ISO 6507-1 2005 and was carried out to observe the materials ability to resist deformation, followed by examinations using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to reveal any material defects and damage. This can also show evidence of fatigue fracture mechanisms and indicate the wear and area of damage.
The evidence, gathered from the testing carried out, indicated the drill bit failure was due to tensile overload and the wear of the fracture surface and damage to the drill edges suggested adverse operational conditions.
The Rotech team’s expert reporting and advice ensured that the customer could improve their manufacturing process. Importantly, the customer knows how to resolve the issue, experience fewer failures, improve customer satisfaction, avoid any potential litigation and damage to their reputation.
Rotech completed all investigations on time, fulfilling the customer brief and provided extensive reporting on completion, indicating damage and defects. The reporting included a visual summary.