When manufactured plastic parts fail, quickly determining the cause is vital for minimizing production downtime and protecting your company’s bottom line. But what causes plastic parts to fail in the first place? And how can you determine the cause and prevent it from happening again?
The truth is that plastic parts fail for a myriad of reasons. But the good news is that plastic failure analysis techniques, FTIR analysis in particular, can help determine the cause so you can avoid it in the future.
Below we share some of the most common reasons for plastic failure and how FTIR analysis and testing can be of use.
Common Causes for Plastic Part Failure
Some of the most common reasons for plastic part failure include:
- Wrong material selection. Unsurprisingly, the ingredients and materials used in plastic parts have perhaps the biggest impact on whether or not products function as intended.
- Manufacturing defects. Flaws can be caused by fluctuating heat treatment temperatures, molding imperfections, or inconsistencies in the plastic.
- Degradation of plastic by contaminants. Once again, unsurprisingly, any contamination that comes into contact with a plastic part can change the molecular composition of the materials, and cause parts to not function as intended.
- Poor part design. For example, if a part may not contain enough plasticizing agent, it may lack the strength it needs and fracture.
How Plastic Failure Analysis Techniques Can Help
Plastic failure analysis techniques such as FTIR analysis can determine the molecular composition of a failed part, uncovering whether any contamination, fillers, additives, imperfections or inconsistencies that can affect quality or function are present.
For example, using FTIR techniques, Innovatech Labs conducted plastic failure analysis on two parts: one “good,” fully functioning part and a failed part. While our analysis revealed that the materials comprising the parts were very similar;, we found that the failed part had far less plasticizer present, which led to the failure.
Why FTIR analysis? FTIR is often the first step in any materials analysis and characterization process. But because of its accuracy, speed and sensitivity, it can often be used as a stand-alone method of analysis.
Do You Think Plastic Failure Analysis Might Be a Good Fit for Your Needs?
Then get in touch with Innovatech Labs today. Our team of experts can work with you to determine your specific failure analysis service needs and provide recommendations to get the answers you’re looking for.