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Forensic Polymer Engineering

Book Description

Given the infinite number of applications of polymeric materials in everyday life, especially applications where a failure in service may lead to economic loss, injury or death, the ability to determine the cause of failure using forensic engineering techniques is essential. Forensic polymer engineering: Why polymer products fail in service reviews the latest forensic engineering techniques used in the investigation of failed polymer materials. It presents a series of case studies which illustrate the different types of failure and the forensic engineering techniques used in their investigation.

The first chapters give an introduction to forensic polymer engineering and an overview of the examination and analysis of failed polymer components. Further chapters give detailed case studies of failure and forensic investigation of polymeric medical devices, polymer storage tanks, small polymeric containers, polymer pipes and fittings, polymeric seals, polymeric tools and ladders, polymer components in transport applications and polymer consumer products. A final concluding chapter provides information on causes of product failure and discusses poor manufacturing methods, poor design, poor choice of materials and failure due to insufficient account being taken of environmental factors.

With its distinguished authors, Forensic polymer engineering: Why polymer products fail in service is a standard reference for forensic experts practicing in all engineering fields that involve polymeric materials, as well as design and construction professionals, product manufacturers and insurance professionals.

  • Reviews the latest forensic engineering techniques used in the investigation of failed polymer components
  • Detailed case studies illustrate different types of failure in polymer components, fittings and medical devices
  • Examines the role of manufacturing in product failure with an overview of faults recognised in methods, design and material selection

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Preface
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Dedication
  8. Chapter 1: Introduction
    1. 1.1 Product failure
    2. 1.2 Properties of polymers
    3. 1.3 Failure modes
    4. 1.4 Methods of investigating product failure
    5. 1.5 Public information sources
  9. Chapter 2: Examination and analysis of failed components
    1. 2.1 Introduction
    2. 2.2 Processing methods and defects
    3. 2.3 Mechanical testing
    4. 2.4 Techniques for recording product failures
    5. 2.5 Forensic microscopy
    6. 2.6 Types of product defect
    7. 2.7 Molecular analysis of polymer properties
    8. 2.8 Integrity of results
    9. 2.9 Conclusions
  10. Chapter 3: Polymeric medical devices
    1. 3.1 Introduction
    2. 3.2 Failed catheter
    3. 3.3 Failure of connectors
    4. 3.4 Failure of a breast tissue expander
    5. 3.5 Failure of sutures
    6. 3.6 Failure of breathing tubes
    7. 3.7 Conclusions
  11. Chapter 4: Polymer storage tanks
    1. 4.1 Introduction
    2. 4.2 The Boston molasses disaster
    3. 4.3 Failure of polypropylene storage tanks
    4. 4.4 Failure of fibreglass storage tanks
    5. 4.5 Reconstructing the events leading to failure
    6. 4.6 Dealing with the aftermath
    7. 4.7 Setting new standards
  12. Chapter 5: Small polymeric containers
    1. 5.1 Introduction
    2. 5.2 Failure of battery containers
    3. 5.3 Failure of buckets
    4. 5.4 Exploding batteries
    5. 5.5 Failed truck battery cases
    6. 5.6 Failures in miner lamp battery casings
    7. 5.7 Improving design to prevent failure
    8. 5.8 Conclusions
  13. Chapter 6: Polymeric pipes and fittings
    1. 6.1 Introduction
    2. 6.2 Fracture of PVC water piping
    3. 6.3 Failure of PVC water pumps
    4. 6.4 Failures in gas pipelines
    5. 6.5 Failures in ABS pipes and fittings
    6. 6.6 Compressed gas explosion
    7. 6.7 Failures in polybutylene pipes and acetal resin fittings
    8. 6.8 Conclusions
  14. Chapter 7: Polymeric seals
    1. 7.1 Introduction
    2. 7.2 Failure of elastomeric seals in brakes
    3. 7.3 The Challenger disaster
    4. 7.4 Failed elastomeric seals in a semi-conductor factory
    5. 7.5 Failures in TPE radiator washers
    6. 7.6 Failures in silicone mastics
    7. 7.7 Conclusions
  15. Chapter 8: Tools and ladders
    1. 8.1 Introduction
    2. 8.2 Failure of polypropylene hobby knives
    3. 8.3 Failure of polystyrene components in hobby knives
    4. 8.4 Failure of handles in angle grinders
    5. 8.5 Failure of security caps for gas cylinders
    6. 8.6 Failure of an ABS handle
    7. 8.7 Failure of chairs manufactured from polypropylene
    8. 8.8 Failure of swimming pool steps
    9. 8.9 Failed polyamide fittings in ladders
    10. 8.10 Conclusions
  16. Chapter 9: Components in transport applications
    1. 9.1 Introduction
    2. 9.2 Failure of tailpack in a motorbike accident
    3. 9.3 Failure of drive belts
    4. 9.4 Failure of tyres
    5. 9.5 Failed Rilsan nylon fuel pipes
    6. 9.6 Stress corrosion cracking of nylon connectors
    7. 9.7 Conclusions
  17. Chapter 10: Consumer products
    1. 10.1 Introduction
    2. 10.2 Failure of Noryl plugs
    3. 10.3 Failure of Noryl busbar plugs
    4. 10.4 Residual current devices (RCDs)
    5. 10.5 Failure of kettle switches
    6. 10.6 Failure of fittings on luggage carriers
    7. 10.7 Failure of ABS joints on bike carriers
    8. 10.8 Failure of HDPE baby cot latches
    9. 10.9 Conclusions
  18. Chapter 11: Conclusions
    1. 11.1 Introduction: causes of product failure
    2. 11.2 Poor manufacturing methods
    3. 11.3 Poor design
    4. 11.4 Poor choice of materials
    5. 11.5 Environmental stresses
    6. 11.6 Access to information
  19. Index