Metallurgical investigation into an automotive fire

  • W. Reitz
Case Histories


Failure analysis requires many forms of investigations; some are straightforward and others are conducted to eliminate alternate possibilities. This failure investigation occurred during a litigation assignment several years ago and concerned a recreational vehicle (RV) that caught on fire, killing one of the owners. It was important to identify the origin of the fire, and this paper describes how metallurgical analysis helped in determining that origin.


aluminum copper corrosion iron melting temperature recrystallization temperature 


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  1. 1.
    Metallography, Structures and Phase Diagrams, vol. 8, Metals Handbook, 8th ed., American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D.R. Askeland and P.P. Phule: The Science and Engineering of Materials, 4th ed., Thomson-Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Reitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Reitz Consulting, Ltd.Fargo

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