An electronic sensor coil failed continuity testing, indicating that a break was present in the polymer-coated wire. An area of the wire showed a green discoloration and the break in the wire was located in this same region. The discoloration was suspected to be an indicator of what caused the failure. SEM/EDS and FTIR results showed the break in the coil wire was associated with corrosion. The corrosion debris contained relatively high levels of sodium and chlorine, which were likely in the form of salt. Some salt deposits were noted also in other areas along the wire surface. The findings suggested salt or salt water had leaked into the sensor and caused localized corrosion to the wire, possibly at an area where preexisting damage was present in the coating. Separation occurred in the wire when the current density at the reduced cross section caused excessive localized heating, which led to melting of the wire.
S.J. Suess, Discoloration of Open-Circuit Sensor Coil, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Automobiles and Trucks, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.auto.c9001624
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