In many legal cases, a loss, injury or death was caused by something bending or breaking.
"The issue was wholly the impact; the|
corrosion was of no consequence."
The operator of a workover rig at an oil well failed
to prepare the mast hydraulic cylinder, and while being
lowered the heavy boom rotated freely for a substantial
distance due to the lack of cylinder support.
The resulting impact severely damaged the truck frame.
There was a legal battle over whether corrosion on the
frame crossmember was the true cause of failure.
Detailed finite element models of an original "no corrosion"
frame and of the corroded frame were prepared and analyzed
subject to a normal lowering of the boom and to the impact
that occurred. Comparison of the stress levels proved that
the issue was wholly the impact; the corrosion was of no
While there is no such thing as a
hopefully this case has demonstrated how
finite element analysis (FEA)
can shed light on
why something failed.
FEA applies across a
wide spectrum of industries,
and when simple
are not enough, an
can help explain the failure.
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