Forensic Engineering Case Studiesback to Forensic Engineering Services
Forensic Failure Analysis of Engineering Components
- Investigated the cause of failure of the turbine impeller from an electricity generator plant of a major Perth metropolitan hospital. A full range of equipment including scanning electron microscope was utilised to identify the cause of failure.
- Investigated the cause of failure of the hydraulic ram of several trucks and semi trailers. These vehicles rolled over to cause significant property losses. These assignments required mechanical stress calculations and metallographic examination.
- Investigated the cause of failure of boiler tubes removed from a large boiler that was in service at a palm oil refinery in Malaysia. The failure of these tubes caused significant property losses.
- Investigated and commented on the maintenance and mechanical operation of the brake system of several motor vehicles. These vehicles were involved in traffic accidents.
- Investigated and commented on the cause of failure of a pressurised hot water system that resulted in fatality.
- Investigated and commented on the cause of failure of the marine jet unit of a fishing boat. The jet unit's failure resulted in the sinking of this fishing boat.
- Investigated the cause of a fatal gas cylinder explosion in Perth. This assignment required mechanical force calculations and metallographic examination.
- Investigated the cause of failure of several motor vehicle tyres. These tyres failed while in service and caused significant property damage.
- Investigated the cause of failure of several aerated soft drink glass bottles. These bottles reportedly "exploded" and caused injuries to the persons handling them.
Forensic Fire Cause Investigations
- Investigated and analysed the causes of several major fires in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The loss incurred due to each of these fires ranged from 0.5 to 2 million US dollars. These include factory, warehouse, and shopping centre fires.
- Investigated and analysed the causes of several fires in Perth and country Western Australia. These include shopping centres, industrial premises, warehouses, domestic dwellings, farm machinery, crop fields, and motor vehicles.
- A typical investigation involved site examination of fire scene, and collection of fire debris samples for laboratory examination where appropriate. Laboratory examination carried out included examination of fire debris samples with the aid of microscopes, and metallographic examination of all electric conductors collected. Laboratory analysis of fire debris samples to detect the presence of fire accelerant materials would be contracted out to chemists with the appropriated qualifications and experience.
- Performed several laboratory simulation tests, and laboratory and/or in-situ temperature measurement tests, to examine the validity of hypotheses which have been proposed to explain the causes of some of the fires investigated.
- Reviewed fire cause investigation reports prepared by other investigators. These were usually carried out when the fire scenes were no longer available for inspection. However, the relevant fire debris and other physical evidence, if available, would be examined.
Motor Vehicle Accident Investigations
Investigated and analysed several motor vehicle accidents in metropolitan Perth and country Western Australia. These include collision and roll over accidents of passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, trucks and semi-trailers. Each case involved some or all of the following elements:
- accident site examination and/or study of documented accident scene records;
- examination of damaged vehicles;
- follow-up data and literature research;
- analysis including speed, acceleration and force calculations; and
- preparation of written report.