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Molded plastic couplings used in an industrial application exhibited abnormally brittle properties, as compared to previously produced components. The couplings were specified to be molded from a custom-compounded glass-filled nylon 6/12 resin. An inspection of the molding resin used to produce the discrepant parts revealed that the pellets were of two general types, neither of which matched the pellets from a retained resin lot. Investigation included visual inspection, micro-FTIR in the ATR mode, and analysis using DSC. The thermograms supported the conclusion that the brittle couplings contained a significant level of contamination, polypropylene and nylon 6/6. The source of the polypropylene was likely the purging compound used to clean the compounding extruder. The origin of the nylon 6/6 resin was unknown but may represent a previously compounded resin.

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