Mechanical Failures

Mechanical Forensic Engineering - Arcon


Arcon’s professional engineers investigate failures and malfunctions in electrical and mechanical components and machinery. Examples of typical mechanical engineering investigations include: pipe, valve and vessel ruptures, material corrosion, manufacturing tolerance issues, engine failure, furnace, boiler and HVAC malfunctions and consumer product failure.

Vessel and Pipe and Valve Ruptures

These failures can occur in residential and industrial systems and range from dry pipe systems that are used in attics and other unheated areas of buildings to resist potential freeze up of sprinkler pipes to heating oil vessels and boiler or heat exchange systems in highrise buildings.

Furnace and Other Failures

The proverbial chicken and egg question in a frozen building with flooded premises - did the furnace quit before or after the building flood occurred? By analyzing the range of freezing, the extent of damage to plumbing components, the weather data and the records of fuel consumption, it can be possible to determine when the heat to a building was lost.

Mechanical Equipment/Component Failures

Examination of fracture surfaces can be instrumental in our determination of a part’s failure mechanism. An example is a crankshaft that failed following servicing. Examination of the fracture service indicated that an attempt had been made to straighten the crankshaft without considering its metal composition and reaction to the force that was applied to straighten the shaft, leading to early failure.

Heavy Equipment/Vehicle Breakdown

Investigating and diagnosing the breakdown of heavy equipment such as farm or construction machinery and heavy vehicles such as buses and tractor-trailers is a very specialized expertise.  Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask are key to being able to complete an investigation in a timely manner which is important if subrogation is an outcome of the investigation due to faulty manufacture or improper maintenance procedures.  Time is of the essence because these types of machinery and vehicles are often the primary tool for earning a livelihood.


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