An exploration of the past, present, and future of materials science and engineering.
6 months ago

Episode 26: μ: When Materials Failure Leads to Wildfire

How did materials failure lead to the California's deadliest fire and the biggest insured loss of 2018?

When you hear of massive wildfires you probably think of the usual suspects: lightning, a campfire carelessly left unattended, maybe a cigarette butt thrown from a vehicle? What you probably don't think of is materials fatigue of a steel hook. This micro episode centers on the story of the Camp Fire in Butte County, California that took 85 lives, decimated the land, and was the biggest insured disaster that year. A look at what mistakes PG&E made ranging from their lack of records keeping to materials incompatibility and testing methods that led to the deadliest fire in California's recorded history. References:

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Materialism Team: Taylor Sparks (co-creator, co-host, production), Andrew Falkowski (co-creator, co-host, production), Jared Duffy (production, marketing, and editing)

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