Mackay Sugar produces over 2 million tonnes of bagasse (cane fibre that is used as a biofuel) annually. FIELD Engineers were called to the Marian Mill to investigate the cause of the loss by fire of a wheeled bagasse loader during stockpiling.
Client needs and considerations
- The fire began when the loader was atop the bagasse stockpile, which fortunately did not catch fire
- Bagasse is difficult to ignite and the residue on the loader itself was only singed by the intense fire
- The fire suppression system did not extinguish the fire in the early stages, resulting in the probable complete loss of the loader
- The loader remained adjacent the bagasse stockpile, preventing use of the area.
The damage to the loader was significant which made positive identification of the exact cause difficult
Identification of the potential sources of fuel, heat and oxygen (air) was made and assessed for likely cause.
The proximity of the most intense damage around the high temperature turbo impeller casing identified it as the ignition point of the fire.
FIELD Engineers competence in undertaking forensic investigations such as this facilitated an expert report to be prepared efficiently.
The FIELD Engineers team was in close proximity to the incident location which allowed a quick and easy inspection of the damage.
A swift deployment of FIELD’s forensic engineers to the site allowed the investigation to be conducted with minimal downtime. Specialist engineers being involved at the outset provided a timely and cost-effective resolution.
A clear cause was presented in a report compiled for the insurer and suitable for legal purposes. FIELD Engineers identified that the most likely cause of the fire was the failure of a hydraulic fluid hose, which sprayed a mist on the high temperature exhaust manifold. The fire spread from this location and damaged the engine bay, cabin and the majority of the hydraulic fluid hoses. The veracity of the fire suppression system was considered questionable.
The insurance company benefited from the comprehensive engineering investigation report prepared by FIELD Engineers in a short timeframe.
The veracity of the fire suppression system was brought into question.
FIELD Engineers quick response to inspect the damaged loader enabled important details to be captured, and the loader to be recovered from the site before further environmental damaged occurred.
Recent case studies
Our diverse portfolio is a reflection of the expertise and skills FIELD Engineers possess and a testament to the commitment of our team.
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