Mechanical Engineering Failure Analysis
By Forensic Engineering Firm, McDowell Owens
Determining the precise causes of failures in mechanical systems requires an intimate understanding of those systems and their components. Thousands or even millions of dollars may hinge on the accuracy and understanding of these systems.
Our engineers provide answers. Understanding what happened and piecing together the facts is what we do.
Mechanical systems that McDowell Owens has investigated and reported on include:
- Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) equipment and appliances
- Industrial machinery
- HVAC systems
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisonings
- Heavy equipment and highway vehicle fires and failures
Mechanical components and devices may be examined and tested at our facilities in Houston or the McDowell Owens Fire Testing and Research Center to determine modes of failure, as well as compliance with applicable regulatory codes and industry standards.
Our mechanical analysis involves investigation of the type of failure and the application or use of a product at the time of its failure. Our engineers conduct material evaluation and/or examine component design for compliance with original design and applicable regulatory codes, as well as product analysis to determine if an alleged failure is a reoccurring or unique matter.
Expertise in Combustible Gases & Storage and Delivery Systems
Our mechanical testing ranges from component and equipment failures to flammable and combustible gases and their storage and delivery systems.
Extensive experience with gas systems includes, but is not limited to:
- Analysis of gas delivery systems and their components
- Analytical and empirical flow testing of pipe systems
- Air exchange and gas accumulation rates and their location in existing or modeled structures, with various gas concentrations and leak rates
Investigations also may involve tear down and analysis of failed components or the analysis and testing of combustion systems for proper combustion and/or production of carbon monoxide (CO) within the structure.
Vehicular Component Failures
Our mechanical engineering professionals work independently and in conjunction with our Accident Reconstruction experts to evaluate mechanical component failures. When maintenance issues or accidents from alleged mechanical failures occur, our engineers examine the components and related parts for damage and the causes of that damage.
Information from these analyses not only assists clients in evaluating failures but can indicate preventative action that may improve the design and operation of products and systems.
Our mechanical expertise can be used in conjunction with Fire Explosion Investigation & Analysis studies to assess whether a piece of equipment caused a fire or was merely damaged by the fire.