Insurance and Litigation Investigations

​Product liability and intellectual property disputes pose huge risks and costs for insurers and industry.  Legal project management and alternative fee arrangements are being used to lower litigation costs, but these thrusts do not address technical investigations that can account for up to 25% of the cost of litigation.  The Institute of Tribology and Coatings addresses this situation through its service offerings for litigators and insurers.

Our science experts have a blend of credentials, academic training, and industrial experience as leaders in their fields that gives you the superior insight you need, compelling outcomes and expert witness testimony, and investigation efficiency and cost effectiveness.  Our experience coupled with our unique collaborative appraoch that provides access to leading government and industrial resources and contemporary project management processes allows you to achieve superior outcomes and lower technical investigation costs by accessing and building on all that is already known, and identifying and using the best technical resources.

Our failure analysis and technical investigations provide a balanced and comprehensive focus on materials performance and compatability, product and process design issues, R&D procedures, and testing required by codes and standards in a way that reflects the manner in which materials, processes, and products are really designed and used.


Our expertise includes chemistry, materials science, electrochemistry and corrosion, mechanics, sensors, process controls, measurement technology, and statistics.  We address issues involving metals, plastics, composites, oils, greases and solid lubricants, friction and wear, and aging and environmental exposure for chemical and manufacturing processes, building products, and a wide variety of consumer and industrial products.

Failure Analysis and Materials Selection and Validation

​ITC serves the Government, industry, insurers, and litigators with top-notch consulting and R&D involving failure analysis and materials performance.  ITC has a particularly broad and strong material science experience relative to tribology - friction, wear, lubrication, and electrochemical corrosion assessments.  This experience coupled with exceptional testing knowledge and uniquely comprehensive testing facilities enables ITC to help you achieve superior outcomes at lower cost in identifying the cause of failures and improving performance through identification, screening, selection, and validation of materials of all kinds, including the full spectrum of metals, the full range of wear resistant and low friction coatings, plastics, composites, friction materials, liquid and solid lubricants, and protective coatings.  ITC comprehensively addresses adhesive wear, abrasive wear, friction, and corrosion in a variety of environments through a very efficient process that starts with superior knowledge and information searches of materials properties, followed by a systematic evaluation with highly efficient ASTM and modified ASTM bench-scale screening tests, and ending with sub-scale and/or full-scale component or system validation testing.  Throughout this process, ITC provides more effective and lower cost approaches, tight integration of application knowledge and materials performance data, which provides superior insight and outcomes at lower cost.

Our Services

​The goal of all of our projects is to deliver insight and value to our clients.  This typically means providing our clients with reliable, meaningful, and actionable data and information that form the basis for making correct decisions.  This also means working within budget constraints without compromising outcomes and providing an exceptional experience and outcome.  Our clients often have exceptional technical capabilities within their organizations, but they recognize that ITC brings a broad and deep range of capabilities that compliment their capabilities, and ITC brings a different way of looking at things and innovating, which brings new insight and approaches.  Some clients lack deep internal capabilities, but our methods make the insight we develop understandable and usable by our clients regardless of their technical capabilities.

Another of our methods to deliver outstanding insight and value is the use of innovative project management methods and tools that we developed.  ITC adapted Procter & Gamble’s “Connect and Develop” methodology for its operating approach and methods.  ITC’s staff have conducted over $26 million of funded R&D project that involve large and small-scale collaborations with the military, national labs, leading universities, and large and small companies.

Test Development

​Use of the proper test methods is critical to success in solving materials problems and improving performance relative to tribology – friction, wear, lubrication, and corrosion.  No single organization can cost effectively provide the full range of testing resources that are needed for the broad range of applications, but ITC’s collaborative approach overcomes this situation.  As part of its collaborative approach, ITC has a unique relationship with Government labs, academic labs, and with a leading tribology test equipment company – the Falex Corporation – wherein ITC has access to the full range of Falex’s lab facilities, but as an independent not-for-profit organization, ITC directs and conducts its work using Falex's facilities.  ITC goes beyond Falex’s capabilities in a number of complimentary and important ways.  ITC specializes in R&D and failure analysis, which is essential to properly define the key performance issues and technical challenges, and address them through innovative approaches and systematic studies.  ITC modifyes ASTM test methods and develops new test methods when the current methods are not adequate, and ITC designs sub-scale and full-scale test for validation.

               The Institute of Tribology and Coatings        |        1020 Airpark Drive, Sugar Grove, Illinois 60554          |        (630) 556-9700        |        jfildes@tribologyinstitute.org

Institute of Tribology and Coatings (c) 2015   |   All Rights Reserved