Welding Failures I Have Known, Interesting cautionary tales from Metals & Welding  expert, Dr Jesse A Grantham, PE

The Case of the One Million Gallon Welding Failure

One Million Gallon Water Storage TankThe Problem: 

Water inlet pipes and inlet collar plates contained defective welds that failed on the tank bottom. The tank was originally emptied for interior re-coating and minor improvements. Minor improvements to the tank included welding a pipe extension to each inlet pipe to modify the inlet flow and create silt-stops above the tank bottom. The weld failures occurred as the tank was re-filled with water after a cleanout. The water in the tank emptied rapidly through the openings and created voids under the tank. The failed welds on the inlet pipes were repaired a second time before refilling the tank.

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The Case of the Aluminum Dump Trailer's Failed Repair Welds

Aluminum Rear Dump TrailerThe Problem:

Structural repairs fractured on aluminum dump trailer caused an immediate loss of revenue to the owner/operator.  After travelling less than 100 miles, the weld repairs, by a repair shop contractor, failed and the dump trailer collapsed unexpectedly, while loaded with sand.  The weld failures resulted in significant expenses and the owner was not able to receive reimbursement from weld repair shop.

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The Case of the Failed Dallas Tower Crane

Tower Crane – Defective Diagonal Tube - Welded ConnectionThe Problem:

On a Sunday afternoon, a violent thunderstorm, with high winds between 75 and 80 mph, collapsed a tower crane and killed one innocent person and injured many others. The tower crane collapse extensive property damage to an apartment complex near the 5 story, concrete parking garage construction site.  The construction company and owner claimed the tower crane was properly stowed for the weekend. The tower crane had been in service at the construction site for 15 months prior to the failure event.  OSHA cited the company with numerous safety violations.  Why did the tower crane collapse during the thunderstorm?

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The Case of the 500 Bbl Oilfield Fracking Tanks Failed Welds

Typical 500 Bbl Fracking Tanks, Welded Steel ConstructionThe Problem:

Mobile, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) tanks for oil-well drilling operations were purchased by a leasing company for use in northern states throughout the USA. The steel tanks were intended to transport drilling fluids and store oil well liquids when at the wellsite. The tank manufacturer warranted the tanks to meet all regulatory requirements. The tank welds leaked and did not meet industry standards or satisfy any regulations. Manufacturing used an improper design code, welding procedures, welder certifications and inspection criteria. Many welds were defective, leaking and did not meet standards. The EPA requirements govern at all well sites in the USA.

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The Case of the Badly Welded High Pressure Hydraulic Cylinders

Hydraulic Cylinder & Failed WeldThe Problem:

The weld between the rod and end-cap of a high-pressure hydraulic cylinder installed on a concrete boom pumping assembly failed in-service. The weld was a Gas Metal Arc Weld (GMAW) installed at an overseas manufacturing facility. The steel for the rod and cap was a fine grained alloy steel Type StE690 (Yield Strength of 100 ksi). The rod and cap were attached to a piston which moved inside the cylinder housing. 

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Welding Failures I Have Known, Interesting cautionary tales from Metals & Welding  expert, Dr Jesse A Grantham, PE