Failure Diagnosis and Resolution

Smithers Rapra provides consultative insight - supported by materials testing and analysis - to identify the root cause of a product or material failure. We also offer follow-on support with corrective analysis and can conduct a hazard analysis and identify any critical control points.

Whilst plastics are extremely versatile materials, they are not without their limitations. To reduce the likelihood of product failure, designers and engineers need to understand:

  • The fundamental nature of plastics
  • The specific limitations of the specific plastic chosen for their project
  • Failure modes of the plastic, including consideration for the intended end-use environment of the product or component
Independent analysis to understand the true causes of product failure

With extensive polymer knowledge and industry experience, Smithers Rapra will always consider the many potential variables which can influence plastic properties, however insignificant they may seem. Failure in polymeric products and materials can have many root causes. Some failures are a combination of causes, such as poor processing coupled with poor selection of material for the end use.

Our Failure Analysis Polymer Services include:
  • Rapid and unbiased failure assessment of products / materials
  • Failure identification of the probable cause (read more about how we can help with Root Cause Identification)
  • Remedial recommendations for  corrective actions to minimise the risk of further failure
  • Recommendations for improvement for the device, component or structure performance
  • Independent failure investigation if responsibility is not admitted
    • Including Expert Witness support
We have a dedicated team of polymer specialists with 50+ years of field experience

Our team have a fundamental understanding of polymer behaviour, how polymer products and parts perform in service, extensive experience of failure modes and a practical appreciation of design and processing.

We have undertaken tens of thousands of polymer failure investigations, including plastics, rubber, TPEs, fibre, adhesives, coatings and paint systems. 

All consultative guidance is supported by comprehensive testing facilities

Our ISO 17025 accredited facilities are on-hand to support any failure investigation with an extensive range of testing and analytical services. Our experts are able to:

  • Fully characterise polymer composition and mechanical performance to rapidly assess the cause of failure
  • Recommend corrective actions to minimise the risk of further failure
  • Suggest performance improvements for the device, component or structure

Contact us to find out more about our failure investigation services, and how we can provide diagnostic and corrective assistance for an issue you may have. Click on the featured expert to get in touch.