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Stadium Chair Collapse

Aluminum Failure Analysis

 

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Michael Fox, PhD.

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E-mail: service@chemaxx.com

Stadium Chair Collapse

A woman injured her back while watching a sporting event when the stadium chair she was sitting in suddenly collapsed.


Stadium Chairs

The stadium chair slats (on which people sit) are supported by two side arms made from die cast aluminum. In the incident investigated the failure occurred in the high-stress area of the die cast aluminum side arms, as seen below.


Failed Stadium Chair

A field examination of a large number of stadium chairs revealed that a significant percentage of them exhibited incipient cracks at the same location where the evidence stadium chair abruptly failed.


Close-Up of Incipient Crack in Stadium Chair

Chemaxx's concluded that the stadium chairs had a design defect and that more likely than not, the chairs would continue to fail over time. Chemaxx made further recommendations to inspect and repair all similar stadium chairs throughout the country.

Dr. Fox is a nationally recognized metallurgy expert, corrosion expert and failure analysis expert who has published numerous peer-reviewed, scientific papers in these fields. He worked for years as a bench scientist and a research manager in the fields of corrosion, metallurgy and failure analysis of materials.

Dr. Michael Fox, the Founder of Chemical Accident Reconstruction Services (www.chemaxx.com), can be contacted at service@chemaxx.com
or 800-MIKE-FOX (645-3369).