16.05.2023 by Aileen Sammler

Material and Failure Analysis of Plastic Parts by Means of Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Parts made of polymer materials are used especially in areas where weight reduction and cost-effective production are required. Especially in the automotive sector, injection molded components made of thermoplastic materials have been used for decades. However, with the boost of production of modern cars, the requirements for further weight reduction increase, too. Particularly in connection with electric cars, which are expected to contribute to CO2 reduction, more and more lightweight materials are being used for vehicle components. Especially with the increased use of plastics, consistent quality and stability of parts are important. That is why precise material analysis is crucial here.

In his article for the online laboratory magazine https://analytik.news, Dr. Stefan Schmölzer, Application Scientist at NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH, describes how thermal analysis is used in material and failure analysis of plastic components.

In a specific case, a housing component made of glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide 6 showed embrittlement at the clip hook during connection with the clip joints. During installation of the part, the clip broke. The analysis of a damaged part and a reference sample by means of Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) quickly identified the cause of the failure.