Why Plastic Parts Occasionally Fail

Plastic parts, such as the cogs in this image, occasionally failPlastic manufacturing parts do fail. Determining the molecular composition of a failed part is vital to a failure investigation. FTIR analysis identifies the components that make up plastic and determines whether the component has any additives or fillers.

When plastic parts break down, it can have some dangerous effects. FTIR analysis can identify the base polymer used to produce the plastic part to prevent future occurrences.

Causes for Plastic Part Failure

Some common causes for failure are:

  • Wrong material selection – When a defective product is returned, FTIR analysis is often used to identify the material that caused the failure.
  • Manufacturing defects – Flaws can be caused by fluctuating heat treatment temperatures, molding imperfections, or inconsistencies in the plastic. FTIR analysis identifies imperfections and inconsistencies in raw plastic material.
  • Degradation of plastic by contaminants – FTIR analysis is a precise detection tool for identifying contaminants in polymer samples.
  • Poor part design – A part may not contain enough plasticizing agent. When lacking sufficient strength, it fractures. A comparison of a good and failed part can be performed with FTIR analysis to determine the cause of failure.

Innovatech Labs uses FTIR analysis as a materials testing and materials characterization technique, which is a preferred material testing technique, because of the speed and simplicity of the process. It’s also a particularly precise tool for identifying material and enhancing quality control.

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One Response to “Why Plastic Parts Occasionally Fail”

  1. In a world that’s constantly changing when it comes to machining and tooling, this is definitely worth looking at. Plastics are definitely going to help us in the long-run, but we need to work the kinks out first. If we can make materials that can withstand high pressure and temperatures, we’ll up and running.

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