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Services Failure Analysis

Analytical testing to determine cause of failure.
Impact Analytical has 30+ years’ experience providing failure analysis services on polymeric materials in all applications. Our laboratories are equipped with the most advanced instrumentation to both characterize the mode of failure and determine its cause. Background information about a failed part’s use, materials, and its manufacture can greatly aid in determining the cause of failure as well as reduce the amount of analysis required and shorten the time required to determine a cause. Contact us today to discuss your failure analysis project.

Failure Analysis Process
When you work with us, our experts will first consult with you to discuss in detail the failure you’re experiencing. We will talk with you about the failed article’s application, service history, failure rate (is it single or multiple?) and gather information about whether the part is a new design or established part with good history. We will also discuss the material type of the failed article such as plastic type, filler type, and any known additives and recycle content. We have experience analyzing failures of many materials including:

  • CPVC piping
  • ABS
  • Polyolefins (HDPE, polypropylene, etc.)
  • Chrome-plated plastics
  • Painted materials
  • Polycarbonate
  • Nylon
  • Polyesters
  • Rubbers
  • TPO

After we have discussed your failed material we’ll provide you with a detailed quote and testing plan for your failure analysis project that’s specific to your failed article/product. To get started, please Request a Quote.

Failure Analysis Techniques
The combination of our experienced analysts and instrumentation allow our failure analysis and testing services to solve your material failure and help you prevent it from happening again. No two failure analysis projects are the same but instrumentation that is often used includes:

  • Optical Microscopy - will examine the failure surface to look for patterns in break and/or surface wear that will give clues to the mechanism and provide an overall sense of the failure.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) - will provide detailed images of failed, fractured or cracked surface. It also uncovers clues of the failure such as identifying the point of origin, determining the propagation direction and the mechanical properties.
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) - will identify and/or confirm material type to ensure the proper material was used. It will also identify if any contaminants are present.

Failure Analysis Goals
The goal with every failure analysis project is to characterize the morphology of the failure, determine the most likely cause, and finally advise you on how to eliminate the failure from reoccurring. Some common examples of failure modes include:

  • Poor product design
  • Poor molding
  • Incorrect choice of material for desired application
  • Material contamination
  • Overstress of material
  • Change in material supply
Failure Analysis Case Study and Publication

Case Study - "Failure Analysis to Determine Cause of Chrome Plating Problems"
Publication - "When Good Parts Go Bad" published in Advanced Materials and Processes by our leading failure analysis expert, Kevin Battjes.

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