VISTA Presents at National Academy of Forensic Engineers

July 3, 2018by BoldThemes0
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Vista Engineering & Consulting is excited to announce that our President, Dr. Raymond Thompson will be a presenter at the summer meeting of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers in Atlanta. The conference is being held at the Marriott Marquis July 21-23. In the session Dr. Thompson will present information about Vista Engineering’s investigation into the root causes of the injuries sustained by an employee in the explosion pictured above.

Many potential contributing factors were examined including system and component manufacture, design, installation, maintenance and use. Metallurgical and failure analysis procedures were used to determine root cause of the system failure and related injuries.  The diagram below is just one of the figures that was produced in the course of the investigation.

In the session Dr. Thompson will present information about Vista Engineering’s investigation into the root causes of the injuries sustained by an employee in an explosion.

More information about NAFE® and the full abstract of the paper and presentation are here: 

About NAFE®National Academy of Forensic Engineering 

The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) was formed to identify and bring together professional engineers having qualifications and expertise as practicing forensic engineers to further their continuing education and promote high standards of professional ethics and excellence of practice. It seeks to improve the practice, elevate the standards, and advance the cause of forensic engineering. Full membership in the Academy is limited to Registered Professional Engineers who are also members of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). 

Forensic Engineering Metallurgical Analysis of PTO Air Compressor Rupture and Fire 

Abstract 

The coalescer of an air compressor mounted on a utility-truck ruptured and resulted in the expulsion of burning oil onto a nearby employee. An investigation ensued to determine the root cause of the injuries. Many potential contributing factors were examined including system and component manufacture, design, installation, maintenance and use. Metallurgical and failure analysis procedures were used to determine root cause of the system failure and related injuries. 

A PTO driven compressor operates at high temperature (200°F) and pressure (110 psig) creating opportunities for dangerous conditions. The system has a safety shutdown control to prevent the system from going over temperature and pressure limits. The exploded coalescer and fire in this case indicated the temperature and/or pressure systems were compromised as well as the control system. 

Compressor failures are not uncommon; however, violent failures that cause fire and injury are much less common. PTO compressors are relatively simple machines with only about 30 components. However, the proper function of most components is essential to the safe operation of the unit. In this root cause investigation, it was necessary to look at each component relative to its fitness for service and potential contribution to the system failure. 

Keywords 

Compressor, fire, coalescer, fatigue failure, rupture strength, metallurgical investigation 


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