Ambix, LLC
1369 NH Route 16
Albany, NH 03818
603-452-5247

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Failure Types

The types of potential failures is as numerous as the products that are affected by them. Plastics failures can be generalized by four major categories.

Chemical
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Very few plastics are totally impervious to all chemicals. Failure occurring from exposing the products to certain chemicals is quite common. Residual or molded-in stress, high temperatures, and external loading tend to aggravate the problem.
Environmental
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Plastics exposed to outdoor environments are susceptible to many types of detrimental factors. Ultraviolet rays, humidity, microorganisms, ozone, heat, and pollution are major environmental factors that seriously affect plastics. The potential damage ranges from fading and discoloration to loss of physical strength and complete breakdown.
Mechanical
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Mechanical failure arises from applied external forces that exceed the yield strength of the material and cause the product to deform, crack, or otherwise fracture. The force may have been applied in tension, compression, and impact for a short or a long period of time at varying temperatures and humidity conditions.
Thermal
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Thermal failures occur from exposing products to an extremely hot or extremely cold environment. At abnormally high temperatures the product may warp, twist, melt, or even burn. Some plastics will become brittle after high-temperature exposure due to oxidation or loss of plasticizer. Cold temperatures reduce flexibility of plastic products and encourage embrittlement and loss of impact strength. Unlike, high temperature exposure however, the affects of low temperatures are generally not permanent.