A West African bauxite company was awarded $16 million in a U.S. District Court after a tippler building collapsed and suffered sustained severe structural damage.

Bauxite was dropped twenty-two feet from rail cars onto the conveyor of a crusher system in the tippler building. The conveyor system and concrete support beams were most seriously affected. O’Donnell engineers performed a failure investigation and determined that the impact loading of the bauxite boulders weighing up to ten tons had been grossly underestimated in the design of the building. We concluded that the structure had been under-designed for the anticipated and applied loads.


O’Donnell Consulting not only performs design, analysis and troubleshooting – but also performs forensic investigations on equipment and facilities. Give us a call to discuss your engineering challenges.

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Tom O’Donnell, PE

(412) 835-5007

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