This article reviews analytical techniques that are most often used in plastic component failure analysis. The description of the techniques is intended to familiarize the reader with the general principles and benefits of the methodologies, namely Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, and dynamic mechanical analysis. The article describes the methods for molecular weight assessment and mechanical testing to evaluate plastics and polymers. The descriptions of the analytical techniques are supplemented by a series of case studies to illustrate the significance of each method. The case studies also include pertinent visual examination results and the corresponding images that aided in the characterization of the failures.
Jeffrey A. Jansen, Characterization of Plastics in Failure Analysis, Characterization and Failure Analysis of Plastics, Vol 11B, ASM Handbook, Edited By Todd J. Menna, ASM International, 2022, p 499–520, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.hb.v11B.a0006933
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