A data center was experiencing repeated computer failures in a certain room in the building. Specialists were able to pinpoint the failure type as internal electrical short circuit. They sampled various surfaces in the room by wiping method and sent the wipes for analysis to EMSL Analytical. Light microscopy revealed the presence of fibrous material of a certain shape and size. Laboratory analysis revealed that the fibrous particles have zinc in elemental composition. Therefore, the particles were identified as zinc whiskers. Zinc whiskers form on bare metal surfaces of access flooring systems (usually plated with zinc for corrosion resistance). They are electrically conductive and if a zinc whisker lands on an exposed circuit card inside the equipment causes a short circuit. Symptoms of zinc whisker related failure are data corruption and power supply failures.