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Forensic Polymer Engineering


Author: Peter Rhys Lewis

Publisher: Woodhead Publishing

Publish Date: 20th June 2016

ISBN-13: 9780081007280

Pages: 428

Language: English



Forensic Polymer Engineering: Why Polymer Products Fail in Service, Second Edition presents and explains the latest forensic engineering techniques used in the investigation of failed polymer materials that are illustrated with a very large number of detailed case studies which show the different types of failure and the forensic engineering techniques used in their investigation.In this updated edition, new case studies have been added to include patent disputes and failed products such as spiral wound wall storage tanks, lithium battery explosions, water bottle failures, and breast implant failures (such as the PIP scandal). New images demonstrating failure have been included, and images from the previous edition are reproduced in color and enhanced with additional explanatory detail.With a dedicated focus on polymeric materials, the book includes details on the experimental techniques that are used to characterize the materials, particularly in cases of failure. Finally, the book has information on the fabrication of polymer devices, as manufacturing flaws often play a role in failure.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction 1.1. Product failure 1.2. Non-metallic elements 1.3. Bonding 1.4. Properties of non-metallic materials 1.5. Failure modes 1.6. Chemical attack 1.7. Investigation 1.8. Public information 1.9. Intellectual property 1.10. Expert evidence Chapter 2. Sample Examination and Analysis 2.1. Introduction 2.2. Polymer processing 2.3. Mechanical testing 2.4. Recording failure 2.5. Forensic microscopy 2.6. Product defects 2.7. Molecular analysis 2.8. Integrity of results 2.9. Conclusions Chapter 3. Medical Devices 3.1. Introduction 3.2. Broken catheters 3.3. Catheter systems 3.4. Breast implants 3.5. Sutures 3.6. Breathing tube failures 3.7. Conclusions Chapter 4. Storage Tanks 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Boston molasses disaster 4.3. Thermoplastic tanks 4.4. Fibreglass tank failures 4.5. Reconstruction of events 4.6. Aftermath 4.7. Acid storage tanks 4.8. Setting new standards Chapter 5. Small Containers 5.1. Introduction 5.2. Battery containers 5.3. Problem bucket 5.4. Exploding batteries 5.5. Truck battery case failures 5.6. Miners’ lamps 5.7. Design development 5.8. Conclusions Chapter 6. Pipes and Fittings 6.1. Introduction 6.2. Fracture of PVC water pipe 6.3. PVC water supplies 6.4. Gas explosions 6.5. ABS pipes and fittings 6.6. Compressed gas explosion 6.7. Widespread pipe failures 6.8. Conclusions Chapter 7. Polymer Seals and Sealants 7.1. Introduction 7.2. Brake failure 7.3. Challenger disaster 7.4. Serial failures at semi-conductor factory 7.5. Radiator washers 7.6. Failures in mastics 7.7. Conclusions Chapter 8. Tools and Ladders 8.1. Introduction 8.2. Failure of polypropylene hobby knives 8.3. Failure of polystyrene hobby knives 8.4. Failed angle grinder 8.5. Security cap for gas cylinders 8.6. Failure of an ABS handle 8.7. Furniture failures 8.8. Failed swimming pool step 8.9. Failed fittings on ladders 8.10. Conclusions Chapter 9. Transportation Failures 9.1. Introduction 9.2. Motorbike accident in France 9.3. Drive belt failure 9.4. Failure of tyres 9.5. Failed fuel pipes 9.6. Aircraft tractor hydraulic hose 9.7. Diesel fuel pipe problem 9.8. Conclusions Chapter 10. Consumer Products 10.1. Introduction 10.2. Transformer plug failures 10.3. Busbar plugs 10.4. Residual current devices 10.5. Kettle switches 10.6. Luggage carrier 10.7. Bike carriers 10.8. Baby cot failure 10.9. Failed heat pad 10.10. Failed hot water bottle 10.11. Faulty steam cleaner 10.12. Conclusions Chapter 11. Conclusions 11.1. Introduction: causes of product failure 11.2. Poor manufacture 11.3. Poor design 11.4. Poor materials and products 11.5. Environmental problems 11.6. Access to information