A case study of failure analysis of a cast iron center plate of a clutch and brake combination, used in presses to stamp automotive components, using finite element analysis has been presented. To predict mechanical failures, it is quite common to use maximum principle stresses for brittle materials like cast iron. However, in this analysis, the stress plots could not account for the cracks in the failed samples. A metallurgical test showed that the samples had been subjected to high thermal loads on the clutch face. A thermal analysis, after assuming that the center plate was behaving as a mild ductile material, correlated analysis with actual failure.