The SPE Library contains thousands of papers, presentations, journal briefs and recorded webinars from the best minds in the Plastics Industry. Spanning almost two decades, this collection of published research and development work in polymer science and plastics technology is a wealth of knowledge and information for anyone involved in plastics.
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Failure Analysis and Prevention
Failure Analysis of an Outdoor Instrument Housing
Cracking occurred within the housing for a piece of weather monitoring instrumentation being used as part of field service trial. The cracking was observed within the bosses used to secure the housing section to the mounting hardware. The focus of this investigation was the determination of the nature and cause of the failure. The results obtained during the evaluation of the failed housing indicated that the cracking occurred through three separate mechanisms. Significant factors in the failure included aspects of design, manufacturing, and the service conditions. This paper will review the testing performed to characterize the failure modes and identify the causes of the cracking, while demonstrating the analytical procedures used in the investigation.
Failure Analysis of Polymer Coating Systems
Failure analysis of polymer coating systems can be challenging due to the fact that coating systems typically involve multiple and generally very thin layered components. The root-cause for the failure of a polymer coating can be attributed to many factors. Thus, it cannot be easily determined by inspection or observations, and significant amount of testing is often required to determine the root cause for the failure. Typically, failures can be caused by selection of improper coating system, or it can be caused by insufficient surface preparation, or it can be caused by application related issues. This paper attempts to provide a guide to performing failure analyses of polymer coatings by discussing two separate coating systems that utilized a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) top coat and evaluates the fundamental root causes of failure. The importance of reviewing background information, performing site-inspections, conducting relevant laboratory and field testing, and utilizing published literature to reach a root-cause for the failure is high-lighted. In both cases, laboratory examinations revealed that while high performance coatings were utilized, their compatibility within the system and their susceptibility to hazards within their respective applications, were not accounted for, leading to poorly designed coating systems that eventually failed.
How Poor Selection of Materials, Design, Tooling and Design Errors Affect the Aesthetics of Plastic Parts and What Designers Need to Know About the Science of Color and Appearance - Part 2
Most engineers and designers come from the metal world. Therefore, many of them make assumptions on the predicted performance of plastic properties based on their metals background. Unlike metals, the knowledge of color and appearance is extremely important in the case of plastics. Most plastic parts have dual functions— physical performance and aesthetics. Aesthetics are important since very few of the parts need to be painted or otherwise decorated if designed and manufactured with due diligence. On the other hand, even if we are designing the most aesthetically critical metal components such as exterior automotive parts, we mostly choose the metals and alloys based on the physical properties, weight, and cost. The aesthetics are left to the paint specialist, who will in most cases find a paint system (primer, paint, and application method) that will meet the cost, durability, and cosmetic requirements. In other words, aesthetics and physical properties are quite independent of each other. A vast majority of metal parts meet their aesthetic and environmental requirements just by getting brushed, plated, chromate conversion coated or anodized. Plastic parts not only need to meet the short-term color and appearance requirements, but also need to be resistant to long term color shift and fading. This paper is in two parts. Part 1 - Appearance and Color Factors - Material - Design - Tooling and Processing Part 2 –The fundamentals of Color and Appearance, Specifications, Measurement and Tolerances
Transition Metal-Catalyzed Degradation of Polymers: Review and Future Perspectives
In many instances, failure of polymer-based articles is attributed to chemical interaction with metals or metallic compounds. Indeed, the stability of polymers is often modified by these species; however, their effects on the degradation of polymers are complex and influenced by many factors. This paper reviews known polymer degradation mechanisms and how metals may influence them, discusses deactivators and their role use as stabilizers in polymer formulations, provides literature-based vignettes describing example scenarios where metal-accelerated degradation of plastics may contribute to failures, and provides commentary regarding potential future areas of work in the field.
Validation of the Virtual Lifetime Prediction Method for Elastomer Components
In the field of mechanical engineering technical elastomers are indispensable due to their material properties. They are often used to avoid load peaks and to influence the vibration behavior of dynamically loaded systems, because of their damping characteristics. Therefore, one field of research constitutes the damage accumulation and lifetime prediction. This paper presents the validation of the virtual lifetime prediction model method, which was developed at the institute of product engineering at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The lifetime is defined as the number of load cycles till the global damage reaches the value 1. This damage is calculated by a failure criterion based on the change of a characteristic value like the dynamic stiffness degradation from a finite-element (FE) simulation. The virtual lifetime prediction method uses a combination of a damage-dependent material model (Yeoh-Model) and a nonlinear damage accumulation model (nlSAM). Both models are calibrated by means of experimental data from dynamically loaded elastomer components. The nlSAM computes the local damage for each finite element depending on material stresses and pre-damage. The dynamic stiffness degradation is a result of locally changed material properties in the FE simulation due to the damage of each element. Finally, the lifetime prediction for unknown loads and different component geometries of the elastomer is carried out, which shows good agreement with the experimental data of the same material batch.
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