Years' Experience: 28

Professional Summary:

Mr. Rose has more than 28 years experience in the design and failure analysis of piping, storage tanks, and equipment in the water, wastewater, chemical, and petroleum industries. He has conducted hundreds of forensic investigations including failure analysis of pipes & tubing made of copper, plastic, aluminum, PEX, PVC, CPVC, PE, LLDPE, HDPE, glass reinforced, cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel and various exotics conveying water, chemicals, gas, solids, and slurries, both above and underground. His experience covers consumer and industrial sectors including water filters, water softeners, expansion tanks, fire sprinklers, boiler piping, water, oil & chemical storage tanks, pressure vessels, and related plumbing equipment. He has designed major equipment, tanks, and piping subject to extreme environmental conditions for large chemical, petroleum, and wastewater treatment plants in every state in the U.S. Additionally, he has extensive training and experience in material science with focus on failure analysis including fracture surface analysis (fractography), metallurgical failure analysis, plastic failures, paint & coatings failures, and corrosion. He is proficient in stress analysis methods including sophisticated computer simulations using Staad, Solidworks, MathCAD, and NISA finite element analysis.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Professional Engineer, AZ
  • Professional Engineer, CA
  • Professional Engineer, CO
  • Professional Engineer, NM
  • Professional Engineer, UT
  • Professional Engineer, NV

Experience Snapshot:

Parkson Corporation
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Field investigation of failing aeration panels exhibiting microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) attack led to inefficient basin aeration. SEM graphs, FEA modeling, and chemical analysis all converged to suggest that the formation of air pockets coupled with high concentrations of organic matter led to favorable conditions for the MIC attack on local stainless steel surfaces. The favorable condition of proximal anchor rods and other members confirmed that the phenomenon was a local anomaly. Suitable retrofits were designed to correct the condition at minimal cost.

 

City of Chino, CA vs. Parkson Corporation
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

A moderate earthquake dislodged a large Archimedes screw conveyor causing a misalignment of the screw axis. Although loud squealing noises from the roller bearings were witnessed and recorded, operators failed to report or address the unusual condition. Eventually the unit failed and a lawsuit was brought against the equipment vendor. A three dimensional structural and fatigue analysis of the unit was performed including the additional forces induced by the misalignment. A stress-time graph was constructed and demonstrated that the additional loads were sufficient to cause a shaft fatigue failure, consistent with the analysis of the material samples. The report indicated the operating manuals clearly prescribed correction of such conditions and therefore negligent maintenance practice was concluded. The lawsuit was dropped upon receipt of the report.

 

Dallas Wastewater Treatment Plant
Dallas, TX

Requirement for unprecedented size & capacity of bar screen conveyors ignited field study of conveyor chain failures. A thorough study on galling stresses and wear rates was conducted via advanced FEA contact analysis and interfaced with non-linear tribology models. Theoretical results were compared with field drag and wear measurements thereby deriving the required wear coefficients. After considerable optimization, the net result was the design and manufacture of the world's largest bar screen conveyors.

 

Tank Shipping Failure
Parkson Corporation, FL

A welded tank with long structural steel legs was shipped and inadequately braced by the shipping company. The fracture failure occurred neatly along the line of the heat-affected zone of the weld as expected. Calculations demonstrated that the combination of impact and cyclical stresses caused by the inferior bracing exceeded the fatigue capacity of the weld. The shipping company agreed to absorb the cost to repair the unit.

 

Wire Rope System Failure
Parkson Corporation, FL

Failure of the pulley/wire rope system in a basin surface skimmer was noted at several installations. While conditions and loads were well documented, the wire rope wear & fatigue behavior for the combined conditions was largely unknown. Controlled experiments at accelerated speeds were designed and conducted on shop premises. Isolating the control variables, fatigue limits for the wire rope were computed resulting in proper redesign and retrofit of the field units at minimal cost.

 

Water Softener Failure
Tucson, AZ

A polymer composite water softener ruptured after nine years of service at a Foothills home. Opposing forensic report claimed a manufacturing defect as the culprit in the premature failure of the unit. Site investigation revealed that no thermal expansion protection was provided for the unit and that the installation was faulty. Testimony by opposing side material scientist and professor was presented including design calculations and failure analysis. The professor's calculations and testimony were shown to be faulty, resulting in a favorable ruling for the manufacturer.

 

Toilet Coupling Failure
Anthem, AZ

A leak originating from a fractured coupling resulted in a $30k residential loss. Infrared spectroscopy identified the coupling material as polyacetal, implicated in widespread plumbing failures. Fractographic analysis of the failure surfaces indicated crack origin at the stress concentration area of the thread-cap interface. The surface also revealed slow fracture over a period of time climaxing in sudden fracture and catastrophic failure. Calculations demonstrated that a nominal hand torque was sufficient to produce a craze origin and predicted failure at the exact location noted in the micrographs. The manufacturer was subsequently deemed liable for the defect and subrogation ensued.

 

Fire Sprinkler Head Failure
Phoenix, AZ

The third premature activation in only three years caused extensive water damage to the warehouse inventory of several tenants. Telephoto observations of the sprinkler system revealed potential signs of microbiological corrosion. Testing confirmed the presence of two types of MIC corrosion. The investigation did not stop there, however. Close examination of the failed sprinkler head indicated deformation of the frame due to improper installation and failure to use the correct custom wrench for the particular model. The plot thickened as numerous NFPA fire code violations were discovered, demonstrating an ongoing pattern of gross negligence and improper maintenance by the landlord in an effort to save some money. A solid report provided an airtight case to which the landlord had no defense.

 

Large Hotel Pipe Damage
AZ

An assignment ws received for two large hotels which reportedly suffered widespread corrosion and freeze damage. The site inspections revealed complex issues, as multiple contributing factors were discovered including:

  • Long-term corrosion
  • Scale & Deposits
  • Erosion from debris contamination
  • Rocks in toilet tanks
  • Excess pressure
  • Code violations

Assigning cause to the failures was thus a complex undertaking, requiring a thorough investigation supported by strong engineering and material science skills. An efficient protocol was developed and the sites were inspected over a two-day period. Subsequent lab analysis revealed that the "rocks" were actually hard-water precipitates and scale dislodged by the freeze. Sampling of the city water supply in combination with hot water heater precipitates confirmed that some ingression of sand originated from the city. Controlled sampling of repaired lines confirmed that the galvanized pipe was continuing to pollute the building water supply, rendering it unpotable. If proper testing and evaluation was not performed, the occupants may have suffered adverse health effects. Leak testing of the pipe network ensued as well as careful examination of hot water heaters, boilers, and fittings. Recommendations were quickly provided for proper restoration of service while repair costs were reduced to less than half those quoted by the adjuster.

 

Ohio Health Corporation vs. Holdridge Mechanical
Grove City, OH

A thermal expansion tank ruptured resulting in catastrophic water damage to an entire office floor and adjacent building structure. Highly experienced experts holding Ph.D., metallurgy, and specialty credentials were hired by both sides to provide a thorough forensic failure analysis. Each side provided conflicting conclusions and the stalemate continued well after depositions. After being hired by the defendant, a thorough mechanical, structural, and corrosion analysis was conducted along with a review of the conflicting reports. The report included a quantitative analysis absent in either of the previous reports. These calculations provided certainty as to the failure mechanisms and sequence. The plaintiff dropped the lawsuit with three weeks of receipt of the report.

 

 

Aquarium Failure
AZ

A large acrylic aquarium failed resulting in extensive flood damage at an upscale residence. A variety of theories were proposed to explain the sudden failure after five years of problem-free performance. The solution to this highly complex dilemma could only be determined by detailed computer analysis of the steel frame and aquarium. A variety of simulations were provided with varying support conditions to demonstrate that the tank must have contained an inherent manufacturing defect. The quantitative and qualitative nature of the results successfully argued the case against rather imaginative theories posited by the defense.

 

Hydrofracturing Tank Failure
NM

A large 156 ft diameter tank failed at the seam, causing massive erosion, damage to trucks and trailers, and minor injuries of the workers. Inspection of the failure required close scrutiny of the welds, connections, drawings, and construction methods. Stress calculations combined with computer simulation of the tank demonstrated that the stresses in the weakest joint exceeded allowable levels by a factor of six. Litigation of the claim was quickly abandoned after issue of the report.

 

Fire Sprinkler Pipe Freeze
CO

An attic fire sprinkler pipe froze and caused extensive flood damage to a luxury resort home at a ski resort. Wind currents through a large gable vent displaced insulation, thereby allowing freezing of a sprinkler pipe during a record low. Defendants claimed the dislodging of insulation was caused by a speaker wire contractor and litigation ensued. Defendants also entered evidence of a nearby windspeed station as proof that the winds were insufficient to cause the attic currents. Calculations were provided which demonstrated that the wind amplification by the local terrain coupled with faulty installation was sufficient to dislodge the insulation and cause the subject failure.

 

Grating Failure
Phoenix, AZ

An occupant of a wheel chair was ejected after traversing a trough covered by a plastic grating. The occupant was ejected, resulting in significant injuries. Plaintiff tried to demonstrate that the grating was missing prior to the event, implicating safety violations by the defendant. Fractographic and stress analysis of the grates demonstrated that the failure perfectly matched the wheelchair and failure mode was completely consistent with contact with a moving wheelchair. It was also shown there could not have been any other event to explain the failure of the grating. The claim was settled favorably.

Petrochemical Tank Explosion
Alberta, Canada

Analysis of explosion caused by hydrocarbon fumes present during downstream welding operation. Cover of bolted pressure vessel projected 200ft and internal damage noted and photographed. FEA analysis of cover and structural analysis of vessel indicated an impulse of nearly 2000kip. Analysis demonstrated that plastic hinges formed as designed to protect the structural integrity of the unit. Also, proper ASME design of flange resulted in failure of bolts rather than shell. Equipment vendor released of any liability as a result of analysis and report.

 

Cooling Tower Failure
Sante Fe, NM

Leaks in the heat exchanger coil were detected at the weld-tube interface during startup of a five year old unit. Three different HVAC specialists inspected the unit, each with a different diagnosis. The varying theories included manufacturer defects, weld distortion, fatigue failure, corrosion, freezing, and a combination of these. Additionally, contrasting preventative maintenance procedures were given by the various parties. The coil bundle was deemed irreparable and was subsequently replaced. Investigation questions included: Which failure theory was correct; what was the actual sequence of the failure modes; which was the correct preventative maintenance procedure; why did the unit not fail in the prior four years; what miscommunication occurred to allow the failure; and could the coil bundle have been repaired rather than replaced. The failed portions were cut, removed, and shipped for laboratory inspection. Extensive interviews were conducted with all parties. Calculation on thermal expansion, tube buckling, weld failure, and freezing effects were presented and compared to cross-sectional photos taken during examination. Expansion due to freezing was isolated as the cause, failure at the weld as the weak point, and subsequent atmospheric corrosion as a side effect. The investigation revealed that conflicting inputs of several HVAC service personnel misinformed the owners, resulting in a faulty winterizing procedure.


Coupling Failure
Anthem, AZ

A leak originating from a fractured plastic coupling resulted in a $30k residential loss. Infrared spectroscopy identified the coupling material as polyacetal, implicated in widespread plumbing failures. Fractographic analysis of the failure surfaces indicated crack origin at the stress concentration area of the thread-cap interface. The surface also revealed slow fracture over a period of time climaxing in sudden fracture and catastrophic failure. Calculations demonstrated that a nominal hand torque was sufficient to produce a craze origin and predicted failure at the exact location noted in the micrographs. The manufacturer was subsequently deemed liable for the defect and subrogation ensued.

 

Faucet Failure
Tucson, AZ

A kitchen faucet failed after only three years of service resulting in $50k damage to a foothills home. A joint inspection of the faucet ensued wherein careful examination, pressure testing, and digital microscopy was performed. Leakage was isolated to an o-ring area revealing a deformed and prematurely aged rubber surface. Rubber fractography revealed drying, cracking, and ozone damage to the rubber interfaces. The o-ring material was found to be deficient and the result of material misselection. Inspection of the manufacturer’s newer model indicated a complete seal redesign including a new gasket configuration and material. The failure analysis, coupled with the manufacturer’s admission of a previously inferior design, was sufficient to allow subrogation of the losses.


Gas Tubing Explosion
Phoenix, AZ

An employee was injured in a gas explosion after a contractor (client) completed formwork in the vicinity of the burner. The site was inspected, plans examined, and personnel interviewed. No violations of code or procedure were found. Subsequent pressure testing of the entire gas line revealed a solitary leak in the corrugated stainless steel tubing located in the control box. Microscopy indicated arc damage, the result of substandard control box design coupled with a damaged CSST surface. The cause of the explosion was shown to be unrelated to the formwork and the client was absolved of any wrongdoing.

 

Ina Wasterwater Treatment Plant
Tucson, AZ

Concern by public works director and mayor about potential overflow conditions in Tucson warranted site visit and investigation. Data was collected from over 20 U.S. installations of similar bar screen conveyors. Detailed research, curve-fitting, and uncertainty analysis resulted in complex 3-level hydraulic algorithm suitable for projecting overflow conditions. As a result, drastic construction retrofit countermeasures were averted, freeing the vendor of any potential liability and expense.

Court Qualification / Depositions:

State Farm v. Hague Water Quality, Failed Water Softener
Pima County Court, AZ, Case C2010-7809
Details described in "Water Softener Failure" above.

Chartis Property Casualty Company v. Aquazona Aquarium Services
Maricopa County Court, AZ Case No. CV2011-005321
Details described in "Aquarium Failure" above.

Great Northern Insurance Company v. Haselden Constructors, LLC
US District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 12-cv-00435-RPM-MJW
Details described in "Fire Sprinkler Pipe Freeze" above.

Raymond Heffley v. St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Parish Phoenix
Maricopa County Court, AZ Case No. CV2011-053198
Details Described in "Grating Failure" above.

Professional Experience:

AZFEI, Expert Witness, 2008 - Present

EFI Global, Sr. Forensic Mechanical Engineer, 2008 - Present
Innovative Engineering Solutions, Chief Design Engineer, 2003 - 2008
Parkson Corporation, Senior Design Engineer, Head of R&D, 1996 - 2002
Design Engineer 1994 - 1996; Project Engineer, 1990 - 1994

Education:

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL1989

Affiliations:

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Vice President, AZ ASME
The Materials Information Society (ASM)
National Fire Protection Association, Member

Courses Instructed/ Guest Lecturer:

Diagnosing Material Failures, University of Arizona, 2011
Portable Affordable Failure Analysis, University of Arizona, 2011