Investigating Failure in Plastic Components

Upcoming course dates

May 2 2019 - £525.00

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Course duration: 1 day

Shawbury Shropshire, UK


Plastic materials are often used in engineering applications where reliable and consistent performance is critically important. But their failure can  have damaging and expensive consequences. Understanding the cause can assist in rectifying the issue, limiting the damage and avoiding future failures.

This one day course will commence at 9am and end at 4.30pm.

It  will provide an overview of material properties, selection, failure mechanisms and methods used to investigate failure.

Learning outcomes

  • Basic understanding of plastic materials and their key properties.
  • Grounding in the principles of specification and selection of plastic materials based on service requirements.
  • Knowledge of how plastic materials and components can fail.
  • The ability to recognise key modes of plastic component failure.
  • An introduction to the methodology employed in order to investigate plastic failure.

Course Content

Introduction to Plastic Materials

  • Basic introduction to the fundamental properties of plastics and how this affects their performance.
  • Understanding their limitations and how this can affect their durability.

Plastic types and material selection

  • Overview of the wide range of plastic types.
  • How their structure affects properties.
  • The importance of material specification and selection of material at the design stage which will produce more durable products and also help with any failure investigations.

Causes of Plastic component failure

  • The various common modes of plastic product failure and how to recognise them.
  • Factors related to design, manufacture, service, environment and also human factors.
  • Failure and cracking mechanisms including chemical attack, degradation, ESC, creep, fatigue and relaxation.

Plastic component failure investigation

  • Typical approach to take when investigating the failure of a plastic component.
  • Principle analytical tests and how they can be used to confirm the root cause of failure.

Examples of plastic component failures

  • Examples of plastic component failure with a review and explaination of the cause and method of diagnosis.

Who Will Benefit?

This course will benefit those:

  • Needing to ensure that  a plastic component or material they are using in their product is suitable for the intended service usage.
  • Actively involved in investigating plastic component failures.
  • Ideal for anyone involved with engineering, design, specification or quality.

Presenter Information

This course is presented by:

Dr Andrew Hulme – Principal Consultant, Smithers Rapra

You can read more about our presenters  by clicking on their expert profiles