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This article reviews the analytical techniques most commonly used in plastic component failure analysis. These include the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, thermomechanical analysis, and dynamic mechanical analysis. The descriptions of the analytical techniques are supplemented by a series of case studies that include pertinent visual examination results and the corresponding images that aid in the characterization of the failures. The article describes the methods used for determining the molecular weight of a plastic resin. It explains the use of mechanical testing in failure analysis and also describes the considerations in the selection and use of test methods.

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