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This article reviews various analytical techniques most commonly used in plastic component failure analysis. The description of the techniques is intended to make the reader familiar with the general principles and benefits of the methodologies. 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 aided in the characterization of the failures. The techniques covered include Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, thermomechanical analysis, and dynamic mechanical analysis. The article also discusses various analytical methods used to characterize the molecular weight distribution of a polymeric material. It provides information on a wide range of mechanical tests that are available to evaluate plastics and polymers, covering the various considerations in the selection and use of test methods.

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Characterization of Plastics in Failure Analysis, Characterization and Failure Analysis of Plastics, Edited By Steven Lampman, ASM International, 2003, p 359–382,

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