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The goal of a failure analysis is to identify the mechanism and cause of the component failure - to distinguish how and why the part broke. A fractographic examination is an essential part of this investigation, particularly in identifying the failure mode. Cracking occurs as a stress relief mechanism as a response to the exertion of stresses on a component.
Glass fiber-reinforced plastics offer enhanced mechanical properties, particularly strength and stiffness over unfilled materials. Their use is widespread in a wide variety of applications where mechanical integrity is essential. However, fractographic evaluation of these materials often presents a challenge due to the confounding effect of the fibers.
The fibers can obscure the fracture surface features arising from:
This presentation will explore the challenges unique to glass fiber-reinforced materials and techniques that can be used to gain the maximum information from these fracture surfaces.
Jeffrey A. Jansen is the Engineering Manager and a Partner at The Madison Group, an independent plastics engineering and consulting firm. Jeff is a proven plastic professional with more than 30 years of experience solving problems and addressing opportunities related to polymeric materials. He specializes in failure analysis, material identification and selection, as well as compatibility, aging, and lifetime prediction studies for thermoplastic materials. Jeff has performed over 5,000 investigations, both for industrial clients and as a part of litigation. He is a regular presenter on the SPE webinar series, covering a wide range of topics related to plastics failure, material performance, testing, and polymer technology. Jeff is a graduate of Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
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