Accident investigation expert witness Dr. R. Craig Jerner, Ph.D., PE, also specializes in metal failure analysis which he defines here:
Metallurgical Failure Analysis is a scientific process in which a cracked or fractured piece or weld is analyzed to determine the cause of failure. The metallurgical failure analysis process involves cutting samples from fractured or cracked samples, conducting a microscopic examination of the fracture or crack, cutting, mounting and polishing samples for scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), microstructural examination, microhardness testing and profiling, chemical analysis, etc. The goal of the process is usually to ascertain why the component cracked or fractured, i.e., causation of the crack or failure.
For more, see http://www.metallurgist.com/index.html