Conveyor devices transport goods from one location to another while minimizing error, lowering risk, and reducing physical strain and labor costs. They can be used in grocery stores, for moving walkways and to transport heavy or bulking items.
A company was investigating a rise in cracking of polycarbonate (PC) components used in a conveyor device that was frequently sanitized with disinfectants. The components were reportedly exposed to a disinfectant product containing quaternary ammonium compounds, which have been known to cause environmental stress cracking (ESC) of polycarbonate materials under certain conditions.
Fractography was performed on the failed components to assess the failure mode based on the crack morphology and fracture surface features. The components were severely embrittled and the fracture surface features were consistent with ESC. Additionally, the components were extracted with a solvent and screened by LC-MS for non-volatile organic compounds.
Based on the mass spectral signal, ions consistent with a benzyl quaternary ammonium compound were detected, confirming PC components were in contact with a known stress cracking agent.
For more than 50 years, scientists and engineers at Eurofins EAG have investigated and resolved product failures for clients. Our team of experts identify key failure indicators and follow them to the root cause.
Failure analysis of plastics, thermosets, and rubber materials is commonly performed on finished products and typically involve comparative analysis between failed and non-failed samples. Once the potential root cause is identified, experiments can be designed and conducted to test the hypothesis and recreate the failure in the laboratory. Eurofins EAG can evaluate a variety of polymer types, including:
Eurofins EAG Laboratories offers a full suite of analytical techniques to evaluate the identity, composition, morphology, topography, and rheology of polymeric materials and components.
RBS is the one technique where we can really say that the composition and concentration are accurately determined for thin films.
TEM, STEM and AC-STEM techniques deliver high resolution images providing a detailed view of a material or product.
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