About Us - Industrial Metallurgists

About Us

Hi, I'm Michael Pfeifer, President of Industrial Metallurgists. For over 25 years, I’ve been helping clients leverage metallurgy and metals engineering to optimize component designs, fix manufacturing and supplier quality problems, and perform failure analyses and forensic investigations.

I've worked on hundreds of projects, and “tell it like it is”, so you can count on getting the support and guidance needed to make well-informed decisions.

I’ve worked on every aspect of product development and manufacturing, and I know the pressure to optimize designs and quickly determine the root cause of product failures and manufacturing quality problems. A metallurgy background coupled with design and manufacturing experience enables me to quickly understand your situation, work with you to make a plan, help you get the information you need, and help you use the information to get to the best outcome.

Also, I work with other metallurgists as the need for specific experience with alloys or manufacturing processes arises.
I work on small and large projects and work with small, medium, and large companies.

Industry experience includes automotive, aerospace, hardware, tools, medical and dental devices, plumbing, industrial equipment, machinery, electronics, and many more.

Alloy experience includes carbon steel, low-alloy steel, tool steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, brass and bronze, and super alloys.

Coating experience includes electroplated, PVD, galvanized, powder coated, and thermal sprayed.

I also have experience with welded, soldered, and brazed joints.
Michael Pfeifer talking with a client
I received a B.S. and M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.

I also wrote a book - Materials Enabled Designs. It teaches how to select materials that optimize product performance, reliability, and cost. I apply these concepts to my metallurgy consulting projects.

Past Projects

  • 304 stainless steel mixing blades – fatigue fracture
  • Fractured forged 1045 steel
  • Nitronic stainless steel wire component - inconsistent springback during forming
  • Copper tube - identify surface residue and origin
  • Crimped high-power component - determine whether crack was in braze joint
  • Washing machine brass hose connector - Identify root cause of corrosion and fracture
  • Hastelloy C-22 equipment - cracking near weld joints
  • Grade 5 hex head steel screw - fracture
  • Welds between cast 1045 steel parts - weak weld joints
  • Coated steel corrosion
  • Coated steel container - corrosion during product testing
  • 430 stainless steel sheet metal cracking during component fabrication
  • Motor electrical steel too strong and hard
  • Battery connector - corrosion
  • Integrated circuit solder joint - fractured
  • 440C stainless steel heat treatment - component too soft
  • PH stainless steel component - cracking during manufacturing
  • A2 tool steel fixturing component - wear during use
  • 6061 aluminum shaft - fractured
  • Steel shaft - fractured
  • Sensitized 316 stainless steel
  • 4140 steel swedge - fractured
  • Brass plumbing component - fractured
  • 3003 aluminum power supply housing - electrical damage
  • Stainless steel sheet - corrosion from muriatic acid fumes
  • Brass faucet - leak
  • Clogged pumps - Identify origin of particles causing clogs
  • Flexible printed circuit board (PCB) interconnection - cracked metal
  • 3003 aluminum sheet - Identify source of surface contamination
  • 316 stainless steel gas hose - identify cause of sensitization
  • Forged 1045 steel component - fractured
Fractured fastener hydrogen embrittlement

Industrial Metallurgists, LLC

Providing metals engineering expertise for failure analysis and forensic investigations of metal components and products.
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