A practical guide to engineering failure investigation by Clifford Matthews

Forensic Science

By Clifford Matthews

A realistic advisor to Engineering Failure research has been written with the categorical goal of aiding these taken with critical engineering mess ups. whilst mechanical plant fails, the technical, felony and contractual concerns turn into very concerned and intricate, and finding out causation could be tough and lengthy. the rules and methodologies defined right here can assist engineers to hyperlink their technical wisdom to the industrial realities of operating with insurers, loss adjusters and their representatives.

This ebook is vital studying for specialists, specialist witnesses and all engineers who might get entangled in advertisement failure investigations.

CONTENTS comprise:

  • the right way to use this e-book
  • expert roles and obligations
  • approach and strategies of failure research
  • The inspection stopover at
  • Doing a layout and operation appraisal
  • Mechanisms of failure
  • determining causation
  • easy methods to current your conclusions
  • assurance investigations – deferring failure ‘events’ and proximate reason – subrogation.

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Extra resources for A practical guide to engineering failure investigation

Example text

There is even a legal maxim to back all this up: causa proxima non remota spectatur meaning, broadly, that remote causes are not considered as important as more immediate (proximate) ones. Practically, there are three simple points to remember: • 'Proximate' means near. • The concept of proximate cause accepts that failures can be complex and that there may be more than one cause involved - proximate cause is a way to bring some clarity to the situation. • Proximate, in this context, means proximate in efficiency at causing the failure, rather than proximate in time.

These points represent the backbone of a good, strategic approach to failure investigation. There is much more that could be written on the subject but there is a danger in going too far - it is easy to cloud the main issues. Too much strategy can be self-defeating, the common 'paralysis by analysis' syndrome can become a sad feature of failure investigations, if you go too far. Tactics The procedure of engineering failure investigations can vary between different types of investigation but we are fortunate in that some of the more basic tactical elements are common to them all.

Gearboxes are built to pub- • All gearboxes use basically similar technical specifications. lished technical standards. • The gear wheel and the pinion bearing have both worn beyond their limits. • The gearbox isfine- bearings are replaceable 'maintenance' items. • The gearbox is definitely not broken. • But if it is we did not break it. • Look! The gearbox has failed. • And even if we did it was an accident. • Anyway, bearings are easy to replace, aren't they? 2 Failure investigation roles - the concept of offence and defence Professional responsibilities Professional responsibilities are an integral feature of the landscape of failure investigations.

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