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Components of a latch assembly used in a consumer safety restraint exhibited a relatively high failure rate. The failures were occurring after installation but prior to actual field use when failure could result in severe injury. Cracking occurred within retaining tabs used to secure a metal slide on an older design, whereas newer components showed no signs of failure. The latch assembly components were injection molded from an unfilled commercial grade of a polyacetal copolymer. Investigation of failed parts (including visual inspection, a specially designed proof load test, 59x SEM images, micro-FTIR in the ATR mode, and DSC/TGA/MFR analysis)...

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