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A number of plastic sleeves used in an automotive application cracked after assembly but prior to installation into the mating components. The sleeves were specified to be injection molded from a 20% glass-fiber-reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin. After molding, electronic components are inserted into the sleeves, and the assembly is filled with a potting compound. Investigation of the cracked parts and some reference parts available for testing included visual inspection, micro-FTIR in the ATR mode, and analysis using DSC. Subtle spectrum differences suggested degradation of the failed part material, and the thermograms supported this. The conclusion was that the...

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