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Failure Analysis of a Thermoplastic Elastomer

For companies that manufacture rubber and plastic parts, processing issues are a serious contributor to reduced profit and increased waste. Rapid evaluations that can pin-point the root cause of a process issue are vital to maintain productivity. In addition, third-party materials evaluations often serve to swiftly identify raw material compliance issues. Based on scientific data, the business issues caused by the raw material can be properly addressed and the production process can get back on track.  

As is typically the case, Polymer Solutions received a pair of samples that were described as “good” and “bad.” It was critical to our client and the rapid resumption of their manufacturing process that an objective science-based determination be made as to whether or not there were variations in the raw material. Comparative testing of the two samples was performed. From a root cause analysis perspective, three analytical methods were proposed and
implemented. This was considered to be a technically appropriate, robust, and cost-effective first step. The three analytical methods included:

  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) to Determine Inorganic Filler Content
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to Document Thermal Transitions
  • Melt Flow Index (MFI) Tests to Compare Melt Flow Characteristics

Read the entire case study here.