Charles Roberts, Jr.

Roberts, Jr.

Charles C. Roberts, Jr., Ph.D., P.E. is an engineering consultant in the areas of accident reconstruction, failure analysis, structural analysis, heat transfer, fire origin analysis, computer analysis, mechanics, and biomechanics. He can be reached at

The case of the worn wire
Sometimes catastrophic fires and other problems arise from simply neglecting to make sure electrical wires don’t chaff against their surroundings. The problem is particularly worrisome in motion applications.
Up in flames: When engineers don’t think through product configuration 1

Two incidents illustrate what can happen when equipment incorporating reservoirs of flammable liquid is not designed with potential hazards in mind. The overriding principle is that liquids always seek a lower level. Failure to think through this reality can cause severe property damage and possible personal injury.

“Printing” a tool the old fashioned way 2

Offset printing machinery involves several rolls and cylinders that feed printed material through various stages in the printing process. These components don’t stand up well when a wrench goes through them, as one firm recently learned during a maintenance procedure.

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