Corrosion: Environmental Cracking (Plastics)
A component of a water filtration unit failed while being used in service for approximately eight months. The filter system had been installed in a commercial laboratory, where it was stated to have been used exclusively in conjunction with deionized water. The failed part had been injection molded from a 30% glass-fiber and mineral-reinforced nylon 12 resin. Investigation, including visual inspection, 118x SEM images, 9x micrographs, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, micro-FTIR in the ATR mode, and TGA, supported the conclusion that the filter component failed as a result of molecular degradation caused by the service conditions. Specifically, the part material had undergone severe chemical attack, including oxidation and hydrolysis, through contact with silver chloride. The source of the silver chloride was not established, but one potential source was photographic silver recovery.