Reverse Engineering

Reverse Engineering identifies the materials and processing steps which were used to manufacture a part or component.  Once this information is determined, duplicate parts can be produced or improvements that are identified can be incorporated into existing designs.

Reverse Engineering is performed for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Comparison with other manufacturers to determine product performance and quality relative to industry standards.
  • Identify potential material or process improvements or potential cost reductions.
  • Manufacture of replacement parts or components for which drawings are unavailable or no longer exist.

Metallurgical Associates engineers provide complete reverse engineering services to determine the materials and manufacturing processes used to produce a part, component, or assembly, including:

  • Dimensional measurements.
    • For detailed part drawings.
  • Chemical analysis
    • To identify alloys and materials.
    • FTIR to identify polymers and elastomers and organic coatings.
  • Microstructure analysis
    • To identify processing form (forged, cast, wrought, extrusion, etc.)
    • To identify heat treating processes used including temperatures and time at temperature.
    • To identify surface hardening treatments (carburized, nitrided, etc.)
  • Mechanical testing
    • Hardness and micro-hardness to identify case hardening and depth.
    • Tensile and impact testing to quantify strength and toughness.
  • Micro-Analysis (EDS)
    • To identify single and multiple plating layers.

Microstructural analysis of a high strength fastener used to secure a connecting rod bearing cap revealed that the threads were rolled into the bolt after heat treating.  This significantly increases fatigue fracture resistance in comparison to the more common practice of rolling the threads before heat treating.  This information was critical to the successful reverse engineering of the connecting rod assembly.