Failure Analysis Experience

Shop Applied Coatings to Structural Support Steel Members

Sturdi Iron, Inc.
Chicago, IL

2013 to Present

Provided third-party, independent coating inspection services for a major, federally funded steel erection project located in Illinois. The shop coating applicator was located in Indiana. I verified the abilities of the coating contractor to comply with the project specifications, conducted full time, on-site ambient condition monitoring and inspected the entire surface preparation and coating application processes. Completed post-application dry film thickness (DFT) and complete curing inspections, and provided the end-user with detailed final reports including steel member identification and final installation location mapping. This project is ongoing and I represent the best interests of the US federal government.

SFRM Application to Newly Erected Structural Steel Process System

Chemstress Construction Company
Calvert City, KY

2006 to 2007

Provided a failure analysis on a newly constructed structure’s SFRM (Spray Fire Resistant Materials) project. The analysis concluded the project was a complete installation failure. Supervised the complete removal and reinstallation of the SFRM for almost a (2) year period, including all certifications for the State of Kentucky Fire Marshall’s Office and the client’s insurance carrier. Identified and supervised the correction to the newly installed fire sprinkler system to meet state and national codes. Provided litigation support and expert witness to the facility owner and project engineer.

Failure Analysis and Litigation Support Services

Advanced Energy Systems, Inc.
Toronto, Canada

2014 to Present

Providing a coating failure analysis for pre-litigation determination on the cause and effect of failing coatings on field-erected solar energy inverter platforms for the client at a facility located in rural New Jersey. The energy production capabilities of the facility are being severely compromised. The client is faced with severe penalties for a previously agreed to and scheduled completion date, and our services are both ongoing and continuous to support their efforts, discover the cause of the problem, write a comprehensive remediation plan, manage the rehabilitation work and amicably resolve the construction issues with the general contractor and owner of the facility.

Failure Analysis and Corrective Action Recommendations

American Fireproofing, Inc.
Council Bluffs, IA

2014 to Present

Provided a comprehensive failure analysis for field-installed intumescent fireproofing applied to structural steel members erected for a Google facility which is the largest data communications center in the world. The steel was fabricated, dry abrasive blasted, and primed by others prior to being delivered and erected at the site. After the fireproofing was field applied, the coating remained soft when it should have been dry, and large wrinkles developed in sporadic areas. The primer bonded with the applied fireproofing and it was removed from the steel by a negative chemical reaction. The two coatings had excellent cohesion, yet the primer completely dis-bonded from the steel. My efforts involved a detailed chemical analysis of the materials and this led to the discovery that the primer applied by the steel fabricator was of an excessive dry film build. Since the film was too thick, solvents, which were a component of the primer, became trapped in the film and the paint never fully cured. This caused an adverse chemical reaction with the solvents contained in the applied liquid fireproofing, and this was deemed the root cause of the premature failure. My services are provided on behalf of the owner, Google, the general contractor, The White Turner Contracting Company, and American Fireproofing, Inc. the field application contractor. The project continues and is scheduled for final completion in 2018.

Coating and Lining Inspections of Brewery Storage Tanks

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
St. Louis, MO

2000 to 2002

Provided a comprehensive tank lining failure analysis and subsequent coating specification, material research & development, material selection, application procedure, and inspection criteria for the relining of various brewing process storage vessels at breweries throughout (11) locations in the United States. Services were provided to the facility owner and contractor.

Liquid Syrup Tank Lining Failure Analysis and Replacement Procedures

Tootsie Roll, Inc.
Chicago, IL


Investigated and reported on a tank lining failure for an FDA sanctioned food processing facility, identified the cause of the failure, wrote recommendations and site-specific corrective procedures, supervised and provided NACE Certified Inspections for the re-work, and brought the project into specification compliance. Represented the interests of the contractor and resolved the dispute to the satisfaction of the owner.

Third Party Independent Shop Inspection of Newly Fabricated Tanks

Severn Trent Services, Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA

2014 to Present

Performed an independent third party post-application inspection and document assessment of (3) newly fabricated tanks located in Louisville, KY. The inspection included low voltage holiday inspection, dry film thickness testing of the tank interior and exterior applied coatings, a visual inspection, and a thorough examination of the records provided by the coating application company. The inspection and analysis indicated there were issues with the coating and lining application, and subsequent rework was performed to achieve full specification compliance. I represent the best interests of the owner.

Newly Installed Barge Unloading and Handling System

Consolidated Grain and Barge
Cincinnati, OH


Conducted a failure analysis on a newly installed barge loading and unloading operation located on the Ohio River. Provided dispute resolution between the owner, engineer, and contractor and provided NACE Certified Inspection for the removal and reapplication of a protective coating system to the entire structure. Provided litigation support to the facility owner and project engineer.

Structural Steel Rehabilitation of Visitor’s Center Elevator Shaft

National Forestry Service, Carlsbad Caverns National Monument
Carlsbad, NM

2012 to 2013

Consulted with the owner regarding a failure analysis on a recently completed project where the contacting painting application company was suspected to have inadequately followed the contract specifications regarding the complete removal of pre-existing lead-based coatings by dry abrasive blasting, and the application of a new (3) coat painting system on an 850-foot elevator shaft that transports visitors from the main level to the bottom of the cavern. This included destructive and non-destructive testing, as well as extensive photographing while being transported through the shaft on the top of elevator cars. I represented the project engineers, HDR Environmental, and the owner, the United States government.

Let Us Determine Why The Paint Failed