Bad Welds Section written by Ed Craig:
As this section is changed frequently, please refresh to get update.
Weld liabilty cost consequences can be extraordinary. Weld risk assesment is almost none existant when it should be the norm. Global weld standards are becoming more rigid. Alloys and applications are becoming more complex. If management and engineers are not controlling the weld shops, who is?
New York probe
examines failed weldon collapsed cranes turntable
are examining how a worn-out part was taken off a construction crane last year,
rebuilt and installed on another crane, which collapsed last week in an accident
that killed two workers. A failed weld on the cranes
turntable, which helps the crane swivel and change direction, has been the focus
of the city investigation into the accident that sent the top part of the 200-foot
crane crashing down on a residential neighbourhood last Friday.
turntable had been removed in May 2007 from a crane building a 43-storey luxury
condominium tower in Manhattan after a worker saw that it was cracked, a spokeswoman
for the contractor said this week. The cranes owner,
New York Crane & Equipment Corp., had a welding company repair it, and then
installed it earlier this year in the crane that collapsed, an insurer for New
York Crane said. The repaired turntable was twice inspected
and tested before it was installed, said Bill J. Smith, president of claims and
risk management for NationsBuilders Insurance Services.
or Poor Maintenance Practices,
Politics and Engineering Logic.
approximately 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23. 2005, a series of explosions occurred
at the Texas City refinery during the restarting of a hydrocarbon isomerization
unit. Fifteen workers were killed and about 170 others were injured. Many of the
victims were in or around work trailers located near an atmospheric vent stack.
Investigators reported that the explosions occurred when a distillation tower
flooded with hydrocarbons and was overpressurized, causing a geyser-like release
from the vent stack.
the state of Texas, it's not uncommon to find politicians and lobbyist who
have more input into the building and construction codes than engineers do.
In this state you will find many chemical facilities built close to schools, shopping
malls and subdivisions. How many Texans who live close to these facilities
will be aware that at these processing facilities, the quality and inspection
standards applied, may be on par with what you would expect in a third world country?
Texas is one of 11 states that have not adopted national safety standards
for pressure vessels. The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code provides rules
for pressure vessel design, fabrication, weld procedures, welder qualifications,
and pressure testing.
In addition, the National Board of Boiler and
Pressure Vessel Inspectors has established the National Board Inspection Code
for pressure vessel repairs and alterations. However, Texas is one of 17 states
that do not require adherence to the National Board Inspection Code. The
code requires alterations to pressure vessels to be inspected, tested, certified,
of Weld Regulations can have seroius consequences.
of the stories on this site are from my experiences, many are actual versions
or condensed versions found mostly on the web. Please remember this
web site is about weld responsibility and accountability.
To greatly reduce weld rework, improve weld productivity and dramatically
decrease the opportunity for product failure and liability concerns, management needs to have more of a role in the the implementation of best weld practices and weld process
Please keep in mind, when dealing with weld issues on large scale projects,
many of the problems that will be associated with a welding processes that have been around for decades are often influenced and embellished
by three factors:
 process ignorance,
 lack of process ownership,
 influence of salesmanship. In this enviroment.
It's hopeful that this site will promote the front office changes that can benefit this industry.
Buildings. Earthquakes and Questionable Welds.
This weld story has it all. Lincoln
Electric and their incredible defense of unsuitable
self shielded flux cored weld consumables utilized for the general construction of buildings and infrastructure built in an earth quake zone in California It's also a story on the common lack of management - engineering accountability and the involvement of
politicians, lawyers and FEMA with welding issues and weld specifications.
Note the same self shielded flux cored wire consumables recommended by Lincoln and Chrysler,
have cost the Auto / Truck Industries mllions each year on unnecessary weld rework, rejects and lost productio. For
auto / truck Self Shielded flux cored wire problems, click here.
one is a classic, it's got lack of side wall fusion and lack of root penetration.
LACK OF WELD MANAGEMENT?
According to Engineering News-Record: The federal goverment is still checking into the contractors accused of shoddy work on the I-805 Mission Valley overpass.the U.S. Attorney's office here has impaneled
a federal grand jury to digest evidence dug up by the FBI about "defective
welds" in reinforcing work done as part of the state's earthquake retrofitting
program. The 805 overpass isn't the only problem: of the 286 bridges investigated
by Caltrans in the wake of the San Diego problem, 242
turned up with bad welds .
you ever examined the welds on your truck frame?
YOU WANTED TO SEE SOME OF THE WORLD'S WORST MIG WELDS,
TAKE A LOOK UNDER YOUR VEHICLE
OR VISIT THE BAD
WELDS AT AN AUTO OR TRUCK PLANT.
OR UNDERSIZE FILLET LEG LENGTHS, LACK OF WELD FUSION AND EXCESS POROSITY,THESE ARE COMMON DEFECTS
YOU WILL FIND ON THE MAJORITY OF AUTO / TRUCK FRAMES. HEY WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR
LACK OF WELD MANAGEMENT: Ed. I
brought my Subaru car to one of the local dealership for inspection on rattling
noise coming out of my trunk. They inspected it and replaced some parts. The noise
is still there. I got a call from the dealership 2 days later, and they told me
Subaru tech checked my car and found out the welds are not
up to spec and asked me if I let them bring the car to their body shop
and REWELD it. However I just don't feel right letting these guys make welds on
a my new
car and I refused to let them "fix" it. I got a call from them a couple
of days later and they said the noise is fixed but I know they never touched the
bad welds. The car has been sitting at the dealership for 2 weeks now and I'm
a little bit confused, do you think they used glue?
MANY OF TODAY'S CARS AND TRUCKS, IT'S WISE TO
KEEP A BOTTLE OF GLUE AND A ROLL OF
DUCT TAPE IN THE TRUNK.
This weld on an auto part is
so bad, it could be a work of art:
Pulsed Welds. Common lack of fusion issues:
the global welding industry you will find very few difficult weld applications,
you will however find;
 extensive lack of weld management process ownership,
apathetic weld engineering and supervision reference the establishment of Best
Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls,
too many welding companies that rely on weld sales advice for their weld application - process issues,
a complete lack of best practices - process control training for weld shop employees,
a complete lack of management knowledge on the real worlds costs of a common weld.
sad consequences of failed welds.
by Pat Baggely of the Salt Lake Tribune.
From USA Today Aug 11-2006.
all know with welding, t's just as easy
to do it right, as it is to screw it up.
training young Jesse, 11. Kokomo Ind
LACK OF WELD MANAGEMENT: During
the nineties, I was invited to provide a weld cost and weld risk assesment for a Canadian Ship Yard building Navy Frigates. At the yard I found that
the MIG and flux cored welding was completely out of control. MIG and flux cored were the two prime weld processes utilized in the yard.
If you are a person that understands weld processes, visualize the ship yard welders working with 1/4 plus steels. To
produce the common 1/4 (6.4 mm) horizontal steel fillet welds on the frigates,
the 200 plus ship yard welders would first use the MIG "short circuit - globular weld transfer" and then produce a cold flux cored weld over the top of the cold MIG welds.
Note: The short circuit - globular weld transfer mode is a method normally
used to weld thin gage metals < 0.100. As ludicrous as it sounds, the high energy MIG spray transfer process was not allowed
in the yard for the common flat and horizontal position steel welds. Also the majority of the MIG welders in the yard did not know what short circuit and spray transfer was.
When I questioned why the welders
were using two weld passes, or why they were using the low current MIG Short Circuit mode followed by low current Flux Cored settings, I simply got that confused weld
look, the one you get when you talk to your wife about welding.
The short circuit - globular parameters with 0.045 (1.2mm) MIG wires were, wire feed rates
of 200 to 350 ipm, 180 to 230 amps - 22 to 23 volts. These SC MIG settings would without question
cause excessive lack of weld fusion on steel parts >
4 mm. With the 0.045 flux cored wire, the wire feed and voltages used for the MIG short circuit welds was used. These flux cored wire
feed settings while suited to vertical up welds would cause extensive lack of fusion, trapped slag
and porosity issues on horizontal - flat steel weld on parts > 4 mm.
Welders using one setting for all welds is a parameter practice thats common in many weld shops in which the weld personnel don't have weld process expertise and therefore they will often use one weld setting for all their welds. Plan B would be play around with weld controls they don't understand.
At this ship yard, the NDT would find extensive issues with lack of
weld fusion from the MIG welds and excess weld porosity and extensive weld slag entrapment and lack of fusion from the
E71T-1 wires. The simple reality was the majority of the welders in the yard lacked something the management and engineers should have provided, "MIG and flux cored weld best practices and process control training".
IT TOOK 30 MINUTES TO FIGURE OUT THAT THE
SHIP YARD WELDERS WERE ALLOWED BY HANDS OFF ENGINEERS, MANAGERS AND NAVY AUDITORS TO
USE INNAPROPRIATE SINGLE WIRE FEED MIG SETTING FOR BOTH THE MIG WIRE AND FLUX CORED WELDS.
UNFORTUNATELY THE INNAPROPRIATE WELD SETTINGS WAS THE CAUSE OF EXTENSIVE WELD QUALITY ISSUES THAT
IN FUTURE COULD JEOPARDIZE THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF THE CANADIAN NAVY FRIGATES
lack of weld management and engineering responsibility and accountability for the weld quality in the yard was beyond
that found in many auto - truck plants and to put salt
in the wounds, every cold, low wire feed setting utilized took over 60% longer than it should have to make the welds with optimum settings.
Note: This yard spent
over a million dollars annually on welder training.
In my report to the VP of the yard, I pointed out the weld process and quality issues. I also pointed out if the correct process control training was provided that the annual weld
labor and reduced weld rework cost savings would annualy be over 3 million dollars. I believe no action was taken on the report and if you understand corporate politics, its not difficult to understand why.
in the weld
industry, if you are efficient today you should be a growth mode tomorrow.
Ship - Pipe line Weld Data
IF A SHIP YARD WAS RUN LIKE A SHIP:
unfortunate that the trend in weld manufacturing in ship yards during the last two decades has been "hands off management and
engineers who do not own the weld processes vital to the products they build.
In the welding industry
who use the title "weld engineer" without the instant ability to optimize and control a simple
two control weld process.
I had a good laugh in 2005 when I read about
a ship yard manager looking at using a laser for welds on his ships. Remember these are the facilities that typically
have for decades struggled to implement best weld practice - process controls with the simple to use MIG or flux
cored process. These are the facilities that too frequently do not control the dimensions with the weld joints delivered to the weld shop.
yard management would do well to compare themselves with the way an efficient
ship or submarine is run. A captain or engineer on these vessels typically can
operate or take apart anything on a ship. I am not suggesting that this radical,
"hands on technical expertise" should be part of every manufacturing manager's job
description. I am suggesting that today we need a compromise in which both managers and engineers show
more interest in their equipment that generates their profits and examine the requirements for Best Weld
Practices and Weld Process Controls.
Looking for excellent MIG and flux cored
weld process knowledge? A good start would be my book"A
Management and Engineers Guide To MIG
black shade shows inadequate weld
reinforcement at the weld surface
takes a week to train a none welder into a MIG welder.
Perhaps this company could not spare a week.
BEAUTY OF BAD WELDS IS THEY ARE EVERY WHERE
A mismatch between the pipe root joints
surface STEEL weld cracks.
Hot Solidification Cracks come from
too narrow, welds too hot,
joints highly restrained, filler too weak:
INFLUENCED BY PRODUCTIVITY
is it at many manufacturing plants that have extensive robot weld process issues,
you typically will also find the "weld purchasing practices are out
You may recognize this company.
The Smith plant typically purchases it's weld supplies from two or more suppliers.
Companies who purchase from two or more weld suppliers typically have not implemented a single
supplier volume discount with typical fixed price guarantees for 12 to 18 month periodss
The Smith plant's purchasing personnel make weld equipment and consumable decisions.
This is a common practice in many auto - truck plants and their are usually severed weld cost ramiifications.
[c] The Smith plant typically writes numerous requisitions every day for
welding consumables and components.
function of purchasing is to attain the best quality at the lowest price. Let
the weld supplier control the stocking / requisitions for weld consumables through
a blanket order and hold the suppliers accountable.
[d] The Smith plant
purchases and stocks more than three different types of filler metals for welding
company that has more than three types of weld wires for welding steels is a company
out of control.
[e] The Smith plant purchases more three part gas mixes and has five different
MIG gas mixes in the cylinder storage.
Three part mixes reveal the influence of gas salesmanship and most plants should not need more than two gas mixes.
The Smith plant has always relied on the advise of the welding salesmen and the
salesman have become a fixture in the plant.
Perhaps the mangers, supervisors, engineers or technicians would find thsi weld process control
GET TOO COMFORTABLE TILL YOU HAVE
THE WELDS ON THAT BOAT.
MANAGEMENT AND YACHTS: Failures of four fuel tanks on recent model Bayliner and Meridian
motor yachts prompted parent company US Marine to initiate a defect recall
campaign (recalls 040132T and 040133T). Involved are gasoline and diesel
powered 2000-04 Bayliner 3788 and 2002-04 Meridian 381 models. The boats are equipped
with port and starboard 150-gallon fuel tanks. Failures could occur in one or
both tanks. While diesel is less flammable than gasoline, any fuel leak creates
serious safety and environmental risks in a marine setting. According to a US
Marine spokesman, the Coastline brand fuel tanks were custom-designed for Bayliner
3788 and Meridian 381 models. Because of the unusual shape of the tanks' end panels,
Coastline hand welded the seams, rather than welding them by machine. The seams
could fail due to "a combination of high stress location, insufficient weld
penetration, and high impact/vibration loads," according to a recall
notice issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
will repair boats in the field and will contact boat owners about setting up appointments.
Repair Aluminum Boat Welds. Boat MFG unknown.
WHIP - SKIP AND POOR
MIG WELD TECHNIQUE AND BAD WELDS.
are hundreds of thousands of global MIG welders who every day make believe they
are SMA welders and use the SMA whip or skip techniques on their > 3 mm
thick, steel MIG welds. These poor souls, and their weld supervisors
and managers are simply not aware they are producing
welds with poor and inconsistent weld fusion.
dark area is suck back in the root
Weld Cracks not Systemic, Texas engineers report.
Plain Dealer Reporter.
MANAGEMENT AND REACTOR WELD ISSUES: The
two cracked and leaking instrument tubes in the bottom of a Texas reactor were
likely caused by bad welds when the facility was built and are not a symptom of
a larger cracking problem, plant engineers told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The NRC is nonetheless poised to issue a letter to operators of the nation's 68
other similar reactors asking them to inspect for bottom leaks, Brian Sheron,
the NRC's associate director for licensing, said in a telephone interview after
the meeting. The NRC is concerned that the cracked bottom tubes could be the beginning
of an epidemic just as the cracking tubes in a Davis-Besse reactor lid turned
out to be a problem affecting about a dozen other reactors. Cracks in the upper
tubes have been traced to water-stress corrosion, a weakening of the metal caused
by constant high temperature, pressure and radiation. Because of the risk of a
dangerous accident posed by bottom leaks, the NRC has been in close contact with
the Texas plant, located about 60 miles south of Houston, since leaks were discovered
From Ed: I included this 1982 weld issue to show you how far we have come in twenty
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555
MANAGEMENT AND FAILED
WELDS IN MAIN CONTROL PANELS
at the vendors' facilities have disclosed numerous welding practices not in accordance
with the American Welding Society (AWS) Standards and several quality assurance
practices not in compliance with the vendors' procedures or NRC requirements.
Among these were the following:
1. Certified material test reports not required, not available, or not in
accordance with AWS specifications
2. Changes to drawings not properly reviewed and accepted
3. Welding being done by unqualified individuals without qualified procedures
and using uncalibrated equipment
4. Poor welds, including lack of fusion, undercuts in excess of 1/32" and weld wire remnants from 1/2" to 4" in accepted welds
5. Welding procedure qualification and welder qualification testing required
by AWS Standards not accomplished
6. Essential variables as specified by AWS Standards violated
7. Management oversight not accomplished for lengthy periods;
lack of separate review and approval for Quality Assurance
8. Unidentified weld filler metals used.
9. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)
process used but not documented in place of required gas metal arc welding
(GMAW) or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) processes
the inspection determined that the non-conforming practices of all three vendors
are similar and widespread at each manufacturing facility, it can be assumed that
any panel from these vendors may have defective welds. Although
the vendors have seismically qualified similar panels, their current welding practices
and resultant defective welds may affect the validity of those qualifications.
AS THE WORLD WATCHES THE REPAIRS AT THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR PLANT,
ENGINEERS CONTINUE TO FIND BAD WELDS.
RESTART DELAYED AFTER POOR WELDS DISCOVERED.
Chernobyl nuclear reactor has delayed restarting after routine maintenance following
the discovery of poor welds on coolant pipes, nuclear news agency NucNet said
on Monday. Chernobyl-3, the only remaining reactor on the site of the 1986 nuclear
accident, now was expected to resume operations in mid-November, six weeks later
than planned, NucNet said."During maintenance operations,
poor welds were found on about 50 seams in coolant
pipes and the necessary remedial work is expected to push the expected
restart date back to mid-November," it said. The unit was taken out of service
on July 21.Separately, Ukrainian government inspectors are still carrying out
a special safety review of Chernobyl-3 in response to a critical report by international
saftey experts, NucNet said.
Chernobyl's number four reactor exploded in 1986, sending a plume of radioactive
fallout across much of Europe, but about 5,000 people still work at the Chernobyl
Was it the process or the welder
dropped the tungsten in the weld?
single pass weldS, poor weld techniqueS
excess weld heat are a common cause
of this weld defect.
is the logical limit on a single pass MIG or FCAW fillet weld?
and CD training Resources have all the answers
HOW BAD WELDS ON A CONCRETE TRUCK CAUSED
MANAGEMENT AND BAD WELDS, OIL RIGS: In
February 1998, a 32-year-old derrick man died after he fell 65 feet when the oil-drilling
rig he was working on collapsed and fell to the ground. The 6-man drilling crew
had taken the last pieces of drill pipe and drill collars
out of the hole when the drilling rig collapsed. The derrick man was standing
on the derrick board 65 feet above ground and was wearing a safety belt.
suggests that the shifting of drill collars, improper anchoring of guy lines and
failed welds on the drilling rig leg may have contributed to the collapse of the
rig. When the rig collapsed, the derrick man fell an estimated 65 feet to the
ground and the rig fell on him. The derrick man died immediately and three coworkers
were treated for injuries.
god it's only an ASME approved pressure vessel.
In the eyes of welders who don't have a life,
there is only one thing worse than an ugly woman
MANAGEMENT - DESIGNERS - ENGINEERS AND SOLDIERS.
you are a soldier your way to Iraq, I hope you can weld.
of the main so called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was made in America, the weapon is called the Humvee. While almost a third of every USA tax dollar goes to the Pentagon and
defense, combat engineers in Iraq have to improvise the armor on these paper bag vehicles
thar gave provided only partial protection for the troops.
Article By C. Mark Brinkley
MOSUL, Iraq - There's a huge Army dump truck here that's
unlike any other in the U.S. arsenal, a virtual Frankenstein's monster truck,
bulging and rippling at its spot-welded seams. It's half gravel hauler and half
Iraqi armored personnel carrier, half general issue and half junkyard find. "We've
had to come up with some ways to do our mission," said 1st Lt. Eddie Lewis,
24, a National Guard combat engineer from Fredericksburg, Va. "It's been
tough." In response to a question from a serviceman in Kuwait on Wednesday
about a shortage of armored vehicles in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
said, "As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you
might want or wish to have."
The soldiers from the 276th Engineer Battalion (Combat),
an Army National Guard unit from Richmond, Va., know about improvising. They have
few armored vehicles. And conducting missions in Mosul, one of Iraq's largest
cities, without armor is like poking a bear with a stick, just inviting trouble.
Insurgent attacks have been on the rise for weeks. Improvised explosive devices
and car bombs are frequent, especially against the trucks that aren't armored.
So the combat engineers have learned to turn heavy equipment into fighting vehicles.
The soldiers scavenge for parts from destroyed Iraqi personnel carriers and weld
the parts on their own vehicles.
The cargo and dump trucks were not made for hauling troops in the back -
one combat engineer had his leg dislocated as a result of being jostled in the
bed of the truck, Lewis said - and they certainly weren't made for strapping on
weapons. Most have improvised gun turrets welded to their beds, where the soldiers
mount machine guns but often have a tough time keeping them steady. The sides
have been reinforced with steel, ordered from neighboring countries and "acquired"
from scrap and junkyards nearby, which the riders hope will stop insurgent bullets.
Behind the welded plates are sandbags, and behind the sandbags are Kevlar blankets,
and behind the blankets are sheets of plywood.
Most of the Humvees here have been "up armored" to some degree,
with additional bulletproof glass and reinforced doors. But many still have canvas
tops, and the floorboards are particularly vulnerable to booby traps, even with
sandbags lining the floor.
stuff the armor's bolted to is just aluminum," Lewis said, pointing to a
reinforced Humvee that
had been pocked by shrapnel from an insurgent mortar shell. "So there's still
a lot of weak spots." Some of those who questioned Rumsfeld suggested
National Guard units were given hand-me-down equipment. But Lewis and others said
active-duty units using similar equipment are facing the same problems throughout
Fallujah. Thanks to poor design, Marine metal workers have to reinforce vehicle
Marine Corps News
Story Identification #: 20051315935
Story by Staff
Sgt. Jim Goodwin
Standing on top of a Humvee, welding gun in hand in the middle
of Iraq, Cpl. Ray C. Rollins contemplates why he joined the Marine Corps nearly
four years ago.
down the weld gun he was using to weld a steel plate to the backside of the truck,
he smiles and gives his reply: "I was told I couldn't make it in the Marine
Corps," he said. "I hate being told I can't do something, so I did it
just to prove I could."
The 23-year-old Marine reservist from Dublin, Texas,
is a welder by trade back in the civilian sector for a local company called Welder
Riggs Machine and Welding. In the Marine Corps, he is a mechanic, but often can
be found crossing the short distance of gravel which separates his work area from
the two tents which house the welders' work area. He loves welding, he says, and
frequently stops by to see if his fellow Marines has any welding work he can help
welders are part of Combat Service Support Company 122, a unit that provides vehicle
recovery and maintenance services for Marine units operating throughout western
Iraq. Since arriving in Iraq with the rest of CSSC-122 in September, Rollins'
weld skills have come in particularly good use. CSSC-122's welders - six Marines
in all - worked around the clock to weld armor on more than
115 military vehicles used for convoys and patrols during the height of
Fallujah combat operations.
both prefabricated kits of armor and scrap metal from inoperable vehicles, these
Marines have welded extra armor onto doors, back panels, gun mounts, and undersides
of everything from trucks to bulldozers to help protect Marines operating inside
the "City of Mosques."
is no official figure on how many of the hundreds of U.S. combat deaths might
have been prevented by better armor.
note these vehicle were not designed to take the extra weight of the welded plate
that at best provides only marginal protection. The extra steel added to Humvees
will slows the vehicle down and adds to additional break down issues.
Quote from a man that ended up as the VP of USA: The
Humvee wasnt designed to withstand the kind of blasts our soldiers are getting
hit with in Iraq, said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. This is just another
reason why we need to get as many of the new MRAP [Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected]
vehicles as possible into the field, as soon as possible.
of root penetration
MANAGEMENT AND BAD PIPE LINE WELDS.
pre-existing lack of weld fusion defect, corrosion on a pipeline seam and a flawed protective coating
probably caused a break that spilled 564,000 gallons of gasoline into a Lake Tawakoni
tributary last year, according to a report released Monday. The spilled gasoline
from the March 9, 2000, pipeline break prompted the cities of Dallas and Greenville
to briefly halt pumping water from Lake Tawakoni. Tests at the time found the
gasoline additive MTBE, a suspected carcinogen, in East Caddo Creek, which feeds
into Lake Tawakoni.
National Transportation Safety Board said in its report that cracks found on the
pipeline after the rupture were typical of a weld defect indicating the pipe weld
joint was not completely fused. The defect was on a lengthwise pipeline weld.
"I think what the NTSB is saying is an accurate probable cause statement,"
said Rod Sands, Explorer Pipeline vice president and chief operating officer.
Tulsa, Okla.-based Explorer owns the pipeline. The preexisting defect influenced
over time by corrosion and fatigue caused the rupture." The pipeline rupture
Greenville, about 45 miles northeast of Dallas. The released gasoline flowed into
a dry creek bed that is a tributary to East Caddo Lake and then downstream into
East Caddo Creek, the report said. Explorer erected three dams in East Caddo Creek
to stop the gasoline but heavy rains raised creek waters to about 12 feet the
next day, destroying the dams and allowing gasoline to move downstream.
28-inch diameter pipe was built in 1970 by Steel Co. of Canada and installed that
same year. The coating was applied during construction. The NTSB said in its report
that Explorer officials told the agency that the pipe may have been buried in
the ground before the coating had cooled sufficiently. "This could have caused
extensive wrinkling in the coating, as well as pulling and
tearing the coating materials," the report said. The pipeline had a 50 1/2-inch
long and 6 3/4-inch wide crack at the break. The ends of the crack were located
off the edge of the seam weld. "
Lack of Weld Management. Bad Welds Cause Fire.
By RICK BARRETT
Jan. 31, 2003.
destruction of the 10-story Quad/Graphics Inc. printing plant warehouse in Lomira
in July may have been caused by bad welds and improper installation of an automated
paper racking system, state officials told the company. The building collapse
and subsequent fire killed a worker for Aero Building Maintenance. The fire burned
for days, fed by thousands of pallets of magazine and catalog pages. On Friday,
Quad / Graphics said the state Department of Commerce and U.S. Occupational Safety
and Health Administration filed final reports on the building collapse and fire.
The Commerce Department found deficiencies in the design, engineering supervision,
welder qualifications and materials used by professionals and contractors hired
to install the racking system, according to Quad/Graphics. State and federal officials
were not available for comment. But the report's findings did not come as a surprise,
said Detective Blaine Lauersdorf of the Dodge County Sheriff's Department.
"It makes sense because the company that installed the racking system
had been at the plant either that day or shortly before to repair welds,"
he said. "It was our assumption from the beginning that welds had failed."
investigators had said they suspected the racking system had broken loose and
caused part of the building to crumble and catch fire. Quad/Graphics was cited
by the state for problems with an audible alarm system in the warehouse, according
to the company. Fire sprinklers and a main alarm system were fully operational
and notified employees of the fire, although the final wiring was still being
completed, company officials said.
The reports showed that the building collapse
and fire was not the result of any violations by Quad/Graphics, or misconduct
by the company's employees, according to Quad/Graphics officials. The company
was not fined or penalized either by OSHA or the Department of Commerce, said
Claire Ho, company spokeswoman.
The racking system was a series of six
cranes that lifted pallets of paper as high as 10 stories and placed them in slots
based on bar-coded information. It was used to handle printed pages waiting to
be bound into catalogs and magazines. A version of this story appeared in the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Feb. 1, 2003.
CASE YOU ARE SICK OF READING ABOUT BAD
WELDS AND FEEL LIKE A BEER DONT TRY THIS BREWERY AS ITS FAILED WELDS CREATED MOLD:
remedial program was developed and implemented at seven breweries to correct manufacturing
faults which were creating inconsistencies in national brands. The brewery inspection
tackled four main areas, taste samples, brewhouse operations, cellar operations
and additive and recycle stream operations. Almost daily tasting was established
of malt, water, CO2 (in distilled water), diatomaceous earth slurry, sweet and
hopped worts and finished beer.
brews were carefully monitored in the brewhouse noting mashing, lautering, raking,
boiling and whirlpool operation. Cellar operations studied were wort oxygenation,
yeast pitching, CIP operations, oxygen pickup during beer transfers and filter
operation. The final additive stages of beer processing require careful attention
to sterility and regular checks on all materials used as well as flavor and foam
stability of the final beer.
one brewery a sulphury oniony musty aroma was traced to poor lauter tun operation
allowing husks to enter the copper. In another the fermentation was too rapid
for the desired flavour owing to continuous circulation of pitched wort through
a plate cooler for several hours while awaiting the next wort length. Other faults
uncovered were mold growth "under failed welds" in a plate filter,
inadequate regeneration of the carbon filter in the CO2 system and the
use of non food-quality rubber hoses. The lessons learned were put into practice
systematically by going back to basics, questioning all operations, improving
training and establishing a thorough audit system.
FORGET THE BEER BUT STAY AWAY FROM THIS EXERCISE EQUIPMENT.
Due to a lack of management manufacturing expertise, exercise equipment - DCD
Incorporated of Malibu, Calif., is voluntarily recalling about 9,500
Ab Swing exercise units. The Ab Swing is a manual exercise unit, primarily
intended for abdominal exercise. It is gray steel, with red seat and handlebars
with black grips. The Ab Swing weighs approximately 18 pounds, and sits about
2 feet off the ground. The word "abswing" is printed on the front of
the seat and the phrase "Made in Malaysia" is printed on a tag on the
back of the seat.THE LACK OF WELD MANAGEMENT PROBLEM:
Some of the exercise units contain two faulty handlebar welds under the seat that
could fail allowing consumers to fall to the ground.
July 1, 2005
Nautilus Inc. Recall to Repair Exercise Benches.
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Nautilus
Inc., of Vancouver, Wash., is voluntarily recalling about 10,000 Nautilus NT 1020
Exercise Benches. A weld on the bench frame under the seat can crack and separate
from the main frame, allowing the bench to collapse and the user to fall and suffer
January 5, 2006
jump to conclusions about those Trampoline Welds.
Bad Welds Lead To Recall
Company Gets 700 Reports Of Broken Welds
POSTED: 1:29 p.m. EDT July 31, 2003
Dont jump up and down about the lack of weld management on these parts.
has recalled 116,000 trampolines because welds on the frame can break,
causing people to fall to the ground. The company has received about 700 reports
of one or more welds breaking from the trampoline rails, resulting in 10 minor
injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The 12-, 13-, and
14-foot trampolines, which were sold separately, and also banded together with
safety enclosures. They were sold under the brand names Hedstrom and NBF. The
brand name is written on the warning labels found on the products.
IT'S AN EPIDEMIC: Due to a lack of management manufacturing expertise,
in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Jumpking
Inc.® of Mesquite, Texas, is voluntarily recalling about 1 million trampolines
and about 296,000 "FunRing" enclosures. Welds on the frame of these
trampolines can break during use, resulting in falls and possible injuries. Additionally,
brackets of the FunRing enclosures have sharp edges, which can cause lacerations.
TAKE IT EASY ON THATSNOWMOBILE AS MANAGEMENT MISSED AN IMPORTANT WELD:
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. Recall
of 2006 Snowmobiles
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., of Valcourt, Quebec, is voluntarily
recalling about 10,400 Model Year 2006 Ski-Doo REV, RT, and RF Snowmobiles. The
steering columns on these snowmobiles could have a missing weld, which could allow
a steering component to become loose. This could lead to a loss of control or
possible collision causing serious injury or even death.
HOW TO KEEP WARM IN THE SNOW:
2005 Polaris Industries Inc. Recall of Snowmobiles
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Polaris Industries Inc.,
of Medina, Minn. is voluntarily recalling about 16,640 Polaris Snowmobiles.
The fuel tank filler neck on these snowmobiles can crack. A crack in the filler
neck area may cause the filler neck to separate from the fuel tank. A crack or
filler neck separation may allow fuel or fuel vapors to escape from the fuel tank,
posing a fire hazard.
Trampolines to Bikes.
LACK OF MANAGEMENT and Bad
Bike Welds: The Iron Horse Hollowpoint Team comes with an incredible set of components
from the Hayes Disk Brakes to the Mavic Crossmax Rims. It is truly of fun bike
to ride...unfortunately, due to a lack of management manufacturing expertise,
my bike's rear suspension welds failed after just 3 months of riding. It seems
this was a design defect that impacted a lot of the Hollowpoints in 2003. I could
have lived with a getting a new frame if Iron Horse hadn't been so bad to work
with...something both I and their authorized shop agreed on. It took them almost
two months to resolve the issue and they just wouldn't communicate with us. It
took two weeks just to get a call back...after the shop contacting them 4 times
and me 2 to even get an RMA....I'd love to say this combination of great components
and a low price is worthy...but don't risk your safety or the aggravation that
will come when you have to talk with them. Go out and get a Santa Cruz Blurr...a
bit more $$ but better bike and a better company.
FROM BIKES TO SCOOTERS.
to a lack of management manufacturing expertise, the
firm Razor USA has announced the recall of around 246,000 units of the Razor
Electric Scooter sold between the time period October 2003 through May 2005.
Details about the weld Recall:
Importer: Razor USA LLC, of Cerritos, Calif.
Hazard: A weld can break, causing the handlebar to detach from the scooter. This
can cause the rider to lose control and fall from the scooter.
Incidents - Injuries:
Razor USA has received 261 reports of handlebar welds breaking or bending. This
has resulted in reports of 16 injuries, including three broken arms and one laceration.
The scooters are Manufactured in: China, (From Ed. I hope they did a better job
with the welds made on the new Olympic Stadium)
AVOID ROUGH ROADS WITH THESE BIKES:
Recalls 2002 and 2003 Gold Wing GL1800 motorcycles
November 3, 2003
to a lack of weld manufacturing management expertise, on some motorcycles, certain
Honda frame welds do not meet manufacturing specifications. High loads created when
riding on rough road surfaces or through potholes can cause the affected welds
SUMMARY: The welded area could break, resulting in rear suspension collapse or
lower cross member separation, increasing the risk of a crash.
a used GL1800
By Steve Saunders
weld failures on the lower crossmembers of an unspecified number
of bikes,in some instances causing the rear suspension to collapse, American Honda
is conducting a Safety Recall on a specific group of 2002 and 2003 Gold Wing GL1800
motorcycles. Rather than a problem with the aluminum frame's design, the recall
is to reinforce two frame welds that may not meet the original manufacturing specs.
In other words, some bad welds slipped by QC that month. Fortunately, no rear-wheel
lockups, crashes or injuries were reported. About 7,000 of the 55,000 GL1800s
in operation are affected by the recall. Under certain conditions, some existing
unreinforced welds can crack, or fail. The repair procedure consists of adding
additional TIG welding to the frame where the lower cross member joins the side
from Ed: A blind weld supervisor could feel the above frame weld and know from
the freeze weld lines, the scalloped weld edges and concave surface that this
oversize weld will have lack of weld fusion and be subject to hot center cracks. It's a
pity this company did not hire more blind weld supervisors or perhaps they could
provide some weld process control education to their managers, engineers and weld
on the GOLD WING GL 1800 Management Weld Issues.
Recalls more Gold Wing GL1800/1800A bikes for frame cracks. This
recall affects the entire Gold Wing 1800 line from 2001-200. Loads created when riding on rough road surfaces or through potholes can cause
the affected welds to crack. The only 1800s not affected are those that have already
been recalled or repaired previously for frame cracks.
has told their dealers yesterday 28-01-2005 that the frame weld recall
from last year will also effect the building year 2004.
From Ed. It would appeare that this manufacturing management simply lacked the
ability to learn from the two previous years and correct a simple welding issue.
from Ed: Bike Weld Repairs BE WARNED.
Before allowing TIG weld repairs
to high strength steels, the addition of additional, unqualified welds to these
steels means more weld heat, longer grain structure and lower mechanical properties
in the frame weld heat affected zone, (HAZ) . Also as a consumer you should be
concerned about how well the bike shops will carry out the weld repairs. Lets
face it, If the bike manufacturing company management cannot ensure their welders
can make quality welds in a controlled weld production enviroment, what guarantee
do you the poor bike purchaser have that your weld cracks will be removed and
the resulting repair welds and HAZ properties in the weld repair will be acceptable
when the welds are made in Joe's bike shop.
bottom line with warranty weld repairs made in bike shops you are getting an unknown
condition in that costly bike frame. When these type of defects occur in the warranty
period, I would be demanding either factory weld repairs along with an extended
warranty or a replacement bike. If they refuse take them to court.
was in Honda Motorcycle HELL.
purchased a new Honda VTX1800 in April 2005. With only 164 miles the linkage rod
on the shifter broke at 60 miles an hour on the highway. I was almost killed trying
to get across traffic to the shoulder without the ability to shift. The bike was
towed and it spent six weeks in the shop. The dealer left the bike in the rain
for the entire 6 weeks causing it to rust. With 195 miles the bike developed an
oil leak and was towed again. Another two weeks in the shop. With 245 miles the
FL light came on. The bike was towed again and spent another week in repair. I
picked the bike up from the dealer and on the way home the FL and temperature
light went on. Towed again and two weeks later it is still in the shop - they
cannot figure out how to fix the bike. Of the 10 months I have owned the bike
it has been towed four times and spent almost three months out of service. The
bike has been ridden for a total of 295 miles.
Early in the process
I called Honda Customer Support for help. To date I have placed numerous calls
(they have returned my calls only twice) and sent a registered letter to Honda
Motors in Torrance CA. The letter was not addressed or answered by Honda Corporate
- it was immediately sent back to the same customer support group that has failed
to help me after 3 months and numerous phone calls. Their position is that this
just a normal warranty situation. Honda continues to refuse to talk with me about
an equitable solution. I continue to call customer support with the same results
- no support. I now have a motorcycle that I cannot ride as it has almost killed
me once and stranded me on two other occasions. If I sell the bike, I will have
to take a hit of several thousands of dollars because of the repair history (unlike
Honda I feel that I must be honest with any buyer).
have I done to deserve the current situation? I am not a negative person and will
normally suffer in silence if a product fails. I am writing this complaint primarily
to assure that others do not suffer the same frustration and monetary loss. If
you purchased a Honda product because of their reputation, think again. I am living
proof that they refuse to take care of their customers. I have been on this planet
52 years and have never purchased a product with this many problems, or been treated
with such utter disregard by a corporation. Life is too short to take a chance
that you will share a similar fate. Stear clear of Honda motorcycles. Thanks very
much for your support. Clete Deller.
of Harley-Davidson 16-inch BMX Bicycles
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation
with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following
consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
Name of Product: Harley-Davidson 16-inch BMX Bicycles
Units: About 25,000
Distributor: World Wide Cycle Supply
Inc., of Islandia, N.Y.
Hazard: The fork that holds the front wheel can separate
at the weld, causing the rider to fall and suffer injuries.
Suzuki GSXR 1000 Frame Alert!
Apparent weld frame defect contributed to crash
competing in a race for AMA sanctioned Motorcycle Roadracing Club Dan Sallis (MRA
#63, AMA Superstock #48) crashed in turn one while Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Dan was riding the 2005 1Tail.com Suzuki GSXR when the front simply washed out
entering turn one. "I am not sure what happened because I was taking it easy
and just cruising. I was comming up on a lapper and setting up to pass him on
the outside when the front just went away." said Dan. Dan was in 3rd place
when the crash occurred and he had been in running as high as 2nd in the race.
Upon taking a closer look at the damaged Suzuki frame it is clear that the weld
was inadequate as indicated by the photographs below. The break in right down
the middle of the weld. Futhermore, when one takes a closer look at the weld it
is clear that the weld had zero penetration for the majority of the welded area.
"This all makes perfect sense now. This thing came apart on me at the top
of turn one just as I was counter steering at well over 100 miles an hour entering
the turn," commented Dan. Current owners of the 2005 Suzuki GSXR 1000 may
want to have their frame welds inspected for defects. 1Tail.com will present the
broken frame for inspection to the director of roadracing for the AMA at the event
at PPIR later today.
VOLUNTARY SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN #2A08
AND 2006 GSX-R1000 MOTORCYCLES
FRAME REINFORCEMENT BRACE INSTALLATION/FRAME
According to reports, possibly 26,000 motorcycles could be affected
by the recall.
has received reports of cracking or breakage of the motorcycle frame in certain
extreme situations where unusually high stress is placed on the frame, such as
collisions involving the front wheel/fork assembly. Suzuki has also received
reports of cracking or breakage of the frame behind and below the steering neck
when the motorcycle is subjected to repeated hard landings from hazardous maneuvers
such as extreme or extended wheelies or other stunts.
dealers will inspect the relevant area of the frame for cracks. If no cracks are
found, a frame reinforcement brace will be attached to the frame using bolts and
epoxy adhesive. Suzuki is promising if cracks are found during the inspection,
the frame will be replaced with a new frame that has the reinforcement brace installed,
providing a five year warranty on the frame and the frame reinforcement brace
beginning on the date of installation by the dealer.
from Ed. I saw pictures of these the welds, they had minimal to zero weld
fusion. If simply cruising like the above cyclist stated, or if making hazardous
moves, (a suggestion from Suzuki to point the fault at their customers), its logical
to remember these bikes were designed to perform at a high level and the bikes
were designed to have sound welds. The extent of the weld defects suggest a complete
lack of weld manufacturing process controls from the Suzuki management. If I owned
one of these bikes, I would not accept the Suzuki recommendation of a brace or
glue repair for a bike with a visible defect, I would be concerned about what
I could not see, the potential lack of weld fusion. I would demand a complete
refund of the bike cost and seek legal representation to sue Suzuki for putting
my life at risk.
STEERING AND WELD ISSUES:
CPSC, Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. announce recall of ATVs
PRODUCT: ATVs - Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) of Irvine, Calif.
Due to a lack of management manufacturing expertise,
Kawasaki s voluntarily recalling 732 of the 2003 model year All Terrain Vehicles
(ATVs). The Kawasaki "KFX50" is a small four-wheel ATV designed for
use by adult-supervised children 6 years of age or older.
There is the potential for failure of a weld securing the tie- rod plate to the
steering column. If the weld fails, the plate can become detached from the steering
column, resulting in a loss of steering control.
this is a weld DEFECT
HOT CRACKING FROM POOR WELD BEAD
WELD DEPTH RATIO
Bad Welds, Bad Welds. What's the Los Alamos Lab going to do?
HEATHER CLARK. Associated Press February 10, 2005 ALBUQUERQUE
A quality-assurance auditor at Los Alamos National Laboratory said Wednesday
that he was demoted in retaliation for audits that were critical of lab safety
and security practices.In a complaint to the U.S. Labor Department, Don Brown
said he was hired in May 2003 to conduct safety audits on facilities and procedures
at the nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico.He said he was involved with two major
audits beginning in June 2003 before he was demoted in the fall of 2004.
audit found that more than half of the welds inspected in the Chemistry and Metallurgy
Research Building, one of the lab's oldest facilities, were defective. Brown said
in the complaint that before he and co-workers could complete the audit, lab managers
told them to stop. A separate audit of the lab's Nuclear Weapons Engineering and
Manufacturing System division found no quality-assurance program covering two
missile components used for nuclear warheads, the complaint said.Brown said he
decided to go public with his findings after lab management ignored his requests
to fix the safety problems. He is also seeking to get his former job back or a
similar position, according to the complaint."I don't want us to lose one
life, much less a lot of life," Brown said in a telephone interview from
his Los Alamos home. "The quality-assurance program that's used to assure
nuclear safety is broken."Los Alamos spokesman Kevin Roark said lab management
does not ignore safety concerns from employees and added that any welding problems
at the research building presented no threat to safety. He said the lab has "a
well-documented program" to deal with welding issues.In an October internal
report written just before he was demoted, Brown wrote that poor management and
an atmosphere of complacency have created "an environment fraught with the
potential for dangerous consequences" similar to the Chernobyl disaster.
He said the lab has about a fourth of the resources required to maintain quality
assurance.In addition, lab managers have an "attitude of intellectual arrogance"
and a sense that the lab does not need to follow normal industry requirements,
because the status quo is adequate, Brown wrote."I tried to get management's
attention," Brown said. "All I got was lip service and even very little
of that."Roark called the comparison to the Russian nuclear disaster "ridiculous."The
complaints by Brown follow several problems at Los Alamos, including a virtual
shutdown of the lab last summer after two computer disks supposedly disappeared.
It later turned out the disks never existed.As punishment for the problems, the
Energy Department recently slashed by two-thirds the management fee it paid to
the University of California for running the lab
Prompt Nationwide Review
Who needs terrorists? With the bad welds, the fertilizer tanks
are exploding around the country
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Seconds
after workers heard the booming sound of a massive tank's seams bursting, they
saw a giant wave of liquid fertilizer coming at them. One worker escaped injury
as the million gallons of liquid pushed the forklift he was riding over a containing
wall. Two workers cutting grass outside the dike weren't as lucky. The liquid
swept them up like driftwood and knocked them into other tanks and equipment.
Both were hospitalized. The accident last July at the Anderson Facility in Webberville,
Mich., was one of a series of ruptures of fertilizer tanks in several states.
rupture blamed on faulty welding.
tanks, all the same brand, ruptured in Ohio within a few months. State Fire Marshal
Robert Rielag alerted his counterparts around the country about problems with
the welding of tanks, which were built by two southwest Ohio companies, Carolyn
Equipment Co. and Nationwide Tanks Inc., that are now out of business. As a result,
authorities around the country are inspecting for faulty welding that could allow
spills that threaten lives, property and drinking water. The steel tanks, which
hold liquid fertilizer used for farming, range in size from 50,000 to 2 million
gallons and can be as big as a four-story building. The heavy liquid can burst
through a bad weld with such force that protective dikes fail to contain spills.
One of the most serious ruptures happened at Southside River Rail in Cincinnati
on Jan. 8. Liquid fertilizer exploded out of a million-gallon tank, destroyed
two reinforced concrete containing walls and pushed two tractor-trailers into
the Ohio River. One million gallons of fertilizer is like a mini tidal wave,"
said Mike Kroeger, an assistant fire chief in Cincinnati. "Thank goodness
we haven't had anyone killed. If anybody is standing next to a tank when it goes
they wouldn't survive."
Testing of six other tanks
at Southside River Rail found faulty welding on all. Another tank farm,
the Queen City terminal, found five tanks with weak welds. In 1997, at United
Suppliers in Pacific Junction, Iowa, a million-gallon tank burst with such force
the liquid fertilizer moved rail cars off their track. John Whipple, fertilizer
bureau chief for Iowa's Department of Agriculture, said that after the Ohio fire
marshal's warnings his staff spent a month looking for the suspect tanks. It found
about a dozen, and "all of them have had to be re-welded," Whipple said.Gary
King, plant industry manager for the Michigan Department of Agriculture, said
the state began regulating fertilizer tanks last October. King said Michigan now
does yearly inspections and will require the manufacturer's name be listed on
tank registration applications.
earliest known problem with a tank built by Carolyn or Nationwide was in 1995
in Indiana when a 500,000-gallon container ruptured. Since then, officials have
made a slide show of the damage for presentations to groups in the fertilizer
industry, said Mike Hancock, Indiana's fertilizer administrator. "The slide
show forced them to check all of the tanks in their system," Hancock said.
"At least one location did have one of those tanks and had to do a reweld."
Kroeger, who is trying to assemble a national database of fertilizer tanks, says
he doesn't know how many are out there. He estimates there are 12,000 similar
tanks in the Cincinnati area alone. Both Carolyn Equipment and Nationwide Tanks
were owned by Donald and Carolyn Walters of West Chester, Ohio. Carolyn Equipment
was foreclosed on by its lender in 1990, while Nationwide filed for bankruptcy
protection in 1995 and then went out of business. Between 1980 and 1995, the two
companies built above-ground liquid storage tanks in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri
and Iowa, according to court records. Rielag believes tanks in other states should
be checked on the possibility that the problem goes beyond one brand.
Carolyn Walters said neither she nor her husband were aware of any widespread
problems with welding on tanks built by their companies. They used subcontractors
to do the welding, but Carolyn Walters said she couldn't recall who they were.
She said all records of who bought the tanks were destroyed after the bankruptcy.
Welding steel tanks is a simple manual or automated weld application.
We can put a man on the moon and yet we cannot find managers, engineers and supervisors who can ensure their products achieve full weld penetration on common
steel applications that have been MIG welded for more than four decades.
IF YOUR HEART IS NOT IN WELDING, IT'S LIKELY A GOOD THING.
The explosive truth behind US wave of corporate crime
By Gregory Palast
Sunday November 1, 1998
aren't a million lawyers in America. There are only 925,671. But that's not nearly
enough, according to Elaine Levenson. Levenson, a Cincinnati housewife, is waiting
for her heart to explode.
In 1981, surgeons implanted a mechanical valve in Elaine's
heart, the Bjork-Shiley, the 'Rolls-Royce of valves', her doctor told her. What
neither she nor her doctor knew was that several Bjork-Shiley valves had fractured
during testing, years before her implant was done. The company that made the valve,
an offshoot of pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, never told the government. At Pfizer's
factory in the Caribbean, company inspectors found that due to a lack of management
manufacturing expertise, inferior equipment was used to make the poor welds. Rather
than toss out bad valves, Pfizer management ordered the defects to be ground down,
which weakened the valves further, but made them look smooth and perfect. Pfizer
then sold them worldwide.
Ed's Comment. Its not about inferior weld equipment, it;s inferior management and engineers who selected the equipment and did not put the necessary best weld practices and controls in place.
YOUR KIDS SAFE RIDING ON A SCHOOL BUS
WITHOUT SEAT BELTS AND WITH BAD WELDS?
Curb School Buses
Ray Hagar RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
welds in the roof and pillars of Carpenter-brand school buses in Washoe County
and Carson City fleets prompted officials Tuesday to order them repaired or replaced.
The Washoe County school board approved an additional $200,000 Tuesday night to
buy 10 to 12 new buses on a lease-purchase program. Carson City school officials,
meanwhile, began inspecting their 17 Carpenter buses, about 40 percent of the
fleet, to assess the possible damage. "This is not only a problem for us,
but also for many other school districts in the state," Washoe Superintendent
Jim Hager told the board. "We want to make sure that all our parents are
aware that they (students) will be riding in safe buses. We won't put a bus out
that is not a safe bus."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
in June recommended inspections of the buses nationwide after an 83-passenger
Carpenter bus in Florida rolled over, collapsing the roof to the seat level. No
children were on the bus. In Washoe County, crews found that 69 of the 71 Carpenter
buses in the district's fleet of nearly 300 buses had cracked or broken welds.
Fifteen of those buses have been taken off the road after the inspections showed
grave structural problems. Minor problems were found in the remaining 56 Carpenter
buses that remain in service. Repairs of the Carpenter buses still in service
should be completed within a few months, school officials said. So far, six buses
have been repaired.
Curnes, Carson City schools transportation director, told the school board Tuesday
that four of the six Carpenter buses inspected needed re-welding. He said inspection
of the other 11 buses by the Nevada Highway Patrol should be complete in about
two weeks. The school district has 43 school buses. "We're only allowed to
repair once if the weld is not too bad," he said. "After that, they
have to be taken out of service and can only be sold as scrap." He said school
districts were asking Gov. Kenny Guinn for emergency funding if school buses need
to be replaced at $78,000 per vehicle. The repairs, he said, only cost $500. Director
of Operations Mike Mitchell told trustees that Carson City's insurance does not
cover bus replacement. Curnes encouraged trustees to keep the Carpenter buses
The Clark County School District, Nevada's largest, has removed
23 of its Carpenter buses from service. "We didn't consider any of them minor,"
Frank Giordano, Clark County School District's vehicle maintenance coordinator,
said of the Carpenter bus weld problems. Giordano said it was easier for Clark
County to park its Carpenter buses because the district already is buying many
new buses to accommodate the state's fastest-growing school district. The Carpenter
buses with faulty welds were made at the Carpenter factory in Mitchell, Ind.,
before 1995, school officials said. The company had been the nation's second-largest
manufacturer of buses before the plant closed. The Carpenter buses in the Washoe
fleet were made between 1978 and 1990, Svare said.
to poor manufacturing practices
you had better take a fire extinguisher with
you on your next bus trip:
9. 2006:USA Today reports that Bus fires like the one that killed 23 elderly people
fleeing hurricane Rita during Sept 2005 pose a significant problem that has largely
was reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that approx 2600 fires
break out each year in the USA. The fires caused by manufacturing defects occur
in all types of buses. This has been going on for years.
Failure Leads to Explosion in food industry:
March 1994, a meat processing plant in the southeast experienced an explosion
in one of their freezer rooms which resulted in over $500,000.00 of property damage.
Fortunately, the explosion occurred around midnight on a Sunday so there were
few employees at the plant and no one was injured. An initial investigation by
plant personnel determined a weld in the refrigeration system failed and leaked
refrigerant. Summit Engineering was asked to assist in determining the cause of
the weld failure and what caused the explosion.
The freezer room where the
weld failed is commonly referred to as a "blast freezer" and is used
to quickly cool the processed meat down to sub-zero temperatures. The blast freezer
used an ammonia refrigeration system to provide the necessary cooling requirements.
The weld fractured approximately one-quarter of the pipe circumference
along the center line of the weld.The weld was determined to be a factory weld
which was made at the refrigeration system manufacturer's facility. The weld was
sectioned and examined using optical magnification and scanning electron microscopy.
In addition, the fractured weld was sectioned, polished, etched and examined.
A polished sample of the fractured weld indicated lack of weld penetration and
the misalignment of the pipe and elbow. It was concluded that a poor quality factory
weld in the refrigeration piping failed, leaked ammonia which then ignited and
Marcus Oil facility.
Houston, Texa December 2004.
The Office of Environment, Safety and Health is issuing this
Environment, Safety and Health Advisory to provide external operating experience
regarding an explosion and fire that occurred at the Marcus Oil facility in Houston,
Texas in December 2004. Investigators determined that the explosion resulted from
faulty welds in a steel process pressure vessel.
In its final investigation report on the explosion, the US Chemical
Safety Board (CSB) describes the violent explosion of a 50,000-pound steel pressure
vessel at the Marcus Oil and Chemical facility. The explosion was felt over a
wide area in Houston and ignited a fire that burned for seven hours. Several residents
were cut by flying glass, and steel fragments from the explosion were thrown up
to a quarter mile from the plant. Building and car windows were shattered, and
nearby buildings experienced significant structural and interior damage.
Marcus Oil facility refines polyethylene waxes for industrial use. The crude waxes,
which are obtained as a by product from the petrochemical industry, contain flammable
hydrocarbons such as hexane. The waxes are processed and purified inside a variety
of steel process vessels. The vessel that exploded was a horizontal tank 12 feet
in diameter, 50 feet long, and operated at a pressure of approximately 67 pounds
per square inch.
case study report and accompanying safety
recommendations have been posted
to the CSB web site (http://www.csb.gov).
CSB investigators determined that the failed vessel, known as Tank
7, had been modified by Marcus Oil to install internal heating coils, as were
several other pressure vessels at the facility. Following coil installation, each
vessel was resealed by welding a steel plate over the 2-foot-diameter temporary
opening. The repair welds did not meet accepted industry quality standards for
pressure vessels. Marcus Oil did not use a qualified welder or proper welding
procedure to reseal the vessels and did not pressure-test the vessels after the
welding was completed. The weld used to close the temporary opening on Tank 7
failed during the incident because the repair weld (Figure 1) did not meet generally
accepted industry quality standards for pressure vessel fabrication. The original,
flame-cut surface was not ground off the plate edges before the joint was re-welded,
and the weld did not penetrate the full thickness of the vessel head. Furthermore,
the welds contained excessive porosity (holes from gas bubbles in the weld). These
defects significantly degraded the strength of the weld. Marcus Oil did not use
a qualified welder or proper welding procedure to re-weld the plate on the vessel
heads and install the steam pipe nozzles in the shells.
1. Recovered patch plate weld from failed Tank 7
The CSB estimated that the defective welds had decreased the strength of the vessels
by more than 75 percent. It is likely that the welds were further weakened by
metal fatigue from hundreds of operating cycles over many years. The weld on Tank
7 finally failed catastrophically during a routine production run.
WHY USE THE PRESSURE VESSEL CODE?:
CSB report pointed out that Texas is one of 11 states that have not adopted national
safety standards for pressure vessels. The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
provides rules for pressure vessel design, fabrication, weld procedures, welder
qualifications, and pressure testing. In addition, the National Board of Boiler
and Pressure Vessel Inspectors has established the National Board Inspection Code
for pressure vessel repairs and alterations. However, Texas is one of 17 states
that do not require adherence to the National Board Inspection Code. The code
requires alterations to pressure vessels to be inspected, tested, certified, and
stamped. "If the provisions of internationally recognized pressure
safety codes had been required and enforced, this accident would almost certainly
not have occurred," CSB
Member John S. Bresland said. "Pressure vessels potentially contain huge
amounts of stored energy, and if they fail they can pose a grave danger to lives
and property, as clearly demonstrated by the accident at Marcus Oil. The presence
of unregulated, uninspected, and improperly maintained pressure vessels within
an urban area like Houston is a serious concern."
Richard Higgins of CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. is the
principal author of
from Ed. This was 2004 not 1904. What an understatement.
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