Failure Prevention

Design expertise, supported by a wealth of experience in failure investigations

Smithers Rapra provides failure diagnosis and root cause identification for a range of products and materials. Our broad understanding of product failure underpins our assessment of the product design, and is backed by years of industry and commercial experience held by our team.

Comprehensive in-house testing and small-scale manufacturing facilities

If additional analytical support is required, our in-house physical testing and chemical analysis laboratories are available to provide greater insight on material performance.

Plastic  Rubber

Plastic Failure Prevention

Industries where product risk assessment is particularly critical include medical, aerospace and automotive. Organisations often require a risk assessment of their product before launch or support in order to meet legislative compliance requirements in product technical files.

The risk management process involves:

  • Identification of potential hazards
  • Quantification of probability and severity of each hazard
  • Assessment/quantification of resultant risk
  • Identification of measures to reduce risk
  • Deploying these measures in a cost effective manner

Smithers Rapra has a breadth of experience that enables us to help organisations understand potential failure mechanisms in polymer components caused by material selection, design or in manufacture.
We use various risk analysis tools and techniques such as:

  • Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
  • Hazard & Operability Study (HAZOP)

These techniques, together with a bespoke testing plan for your materials or product, enable us to identify potential failure and potential misuse, suggest improvements to product design and identify time and cost savings as well as mitigate liability.

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For guidance with plastic failure prevention please get in touch with our featured plastics expert.

Rubber Failure Prevention

Although it is rarely anticipated that a rubber product or material will fail during service, given the potential high replacement costs and loss of business, it is prudent to consider assessing the potential risk of failure occurring before it happens. Rubber and elastomer product failure is often preventable at the design stage.

There are several features which can increase the durability of a product and reduce the potential risk of failure. A high proportion of failures happen because the rubber material is not optimised for the operating environment, or changes in the operating environment mean that the rubber is no longer suitable.

Smithers Rapra can help increase the durability of your rubber product and reduce the potential risk of failure within your design by reviewing your product material, design and intended operating environment. In our risk assessments we:

  • Highlight any areas where the material and design may be vulnerable.
  • Confirm an appropriate test programme to confirm the risk of degradation & its effects.
  • Organise the testing and provide data to support conclusions.
  • Suggest measures where necessary to reduce the potential risk of failure.
  • Confirm whether the existing material specification is adequate to ensure durability of the product in service and recommend improvements.

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For guidance with rubber failure prevention please get in touch with our featured rubbers expert.