Fractography in Failure Analysis of Polymers - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780323242721, 9780323297998

Fractography in Failure Analysis of Polymers

1st Edition

Authors: Michael Hayes Dale Edwards Andy Shah
eBook ISBN: 9780323297998
Hardcover ISBN: 9780323242721
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 8th May 2015
Page Count: 252
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Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction

    • 1.1 Motivations
    • 1.2 What Is Fractography?
    • 1.3 Plastic Material Structure–Property Relationship
    • 1.4 Components of a Failure Investigation
    • References
  • 2. Fractography as a Failure Analysis Tool

    • 2.1 Failure Analysis Fundamentals
    • 2.2 The Scientific Method
    • 2.3 Application of the Scientific Method
    • 2.4 The Role of Fractography in Failure Analysis
    • References
  • 3. Instrumentation and Techniques

    • 3.1 Field or Site Instrumentation and Techniques
    • 3.2 Microscopic Examination of Fracture Surfaces in a Laboratory
    • 3.3 Consideration and Selection of Instruments in Failure Analysis
    • 3.4 Summary
    • 3.5 Regulatory Agencies
    • References
  • 4. Fractography Basics

    • 4.1 Fracture Surface Features and Interpretation
    • 4.2 Brittle Versus Ductile Failures in Polymers
    • 4.3 Crack Path Analysis
    • 4.4 Fracture Features
    • 4.5 Application of Fractography to Failure Analysis
    • References
  • 5. Long-Term Failure Mechanisms in Plastics

    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Creep
    • 5.3 SCG/Creep Rupture
    • 5.4 Environmental Stress Cracking
    • 5.5 Aging, Degradation, and Surface Embrittlement
    • 5.6 Summary
    • References
  • 6. Case Studies

    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Organization of Case Studies
    • 6.3 Case Study 1: Composite Crossbow
    • 6.4 Case Study 2: Showerhead Bracket
    • 6.5 Case Study 3: Polycarbonate Axle Caps
    • 6.6 Case Study 4: Hot Water Heater Drain Valve
    • 6.7 Case Study 5: PEEK Coupling
    • 6.8 Case Study 6: Icemaker Valve Failure
    • 6.9 Case Study 7: Automotive Part, ABS
    • 6.10 Case Study 8: Seat Belt
    • 6.11 Case Study 9: Automotive Part,


Fractography in Failure Analysis of Polymers provides a practical guide to the science of fractography and its application in the failure analysis of plastic components. In addition to a brief background on the theory of fractography, the authors discuss the various fractographic tools and techniques used to identify key fracture characteristics.

Case studies are included for a wide range of polymer types, applications, and failure modes, as well as best practice guidelines enabling engineers to apply these lessons to their own work. Detailed images and their appropriate context are presented for reference in failure investigations.

This text is vital for engineers who must determine the root causes of failure when it occurs, helping them further study the ramifications of product liability claims, environmental concerns, and brand image.

Key Features

  • Presents a comprehensive guide to applied fractography, enabling improved reliability and longevity of plastic parts and products
  • Includes case studies that demonstrate material selection decisions and how to reduce failure rates
  • Provides best practices on how to analyze the cause of material failures, along with guidelines on improving design and manufacturing decisions


Plastics Professionals, including manufacturers, product designers, and consultants.
Forensic investigators, either plastics experts or mechanical engineers examining failed parts.
Educators in materials science.


No. of pages:
© William Andrew 2015
William Andrew
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Michael Hayes Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Engineering Systems Inc. (ESI), USA

Dale Edwards Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Engineering Systems Inc. (ESI), USA

Andy Shah Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Engineering Systems Inc. (ESI), USA