Thermal Analyses of a Polymer Failure
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to analyze an automotive polyoxymethylene (POM) sensor housing that was depolymerizing during service. It was found that a combination of heat, oxygen, and sulfuric acid attacked and caused premature failure of the part. POM should not be selected for automotive applications where elevated temperatures and acidic environments can exist. If exposure to acid is suspected, sodium bicarbonate should be applied to neutralize the surrounding environment, followed by copious quantities of water, and repeated until no effervescence is observed.