Polymer failures can occur at any stage of an object’s overall life cycle. Whenever it happens, it can be catastrophic and sometimes result in high financial implications. Element’s polymer failure analysis services investigate the cause of failure so you can implement corrective actions, limit damage and prevent similar re-occurring product failures in future.  

We provide a comprehensive range of failure analysis services to many sectors across the globe, including Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Transportation, Construction, Medical Device and Consumer Products. 

Element’s state-of-the-art polymer test laboratories utilize proprietary  methods and analytical instrumentation to carry out characterization and failure analysis of polymers. We offer a number of different types of polymer failure analysis methods including chemical, physical, mechanical, thermal and elemental.  

With over 25 years of polymer failure analysis experience, our Engaged Experts can help you identify  incorrect material selection, inappropriate product design and manufacturing defects by isolating the root cause of polymer material failure and providing you with reliable results and effective problem-solving strategies. 

Polymer materials Element can provide experience with
  • Thermoplastics
  • Composites 
  • Paints & coatings
  • Adhesives & sealants
  • Elastomers Polymer failure analysis methods
  • Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA)
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Spectroscopy (NMR)
  • Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) analysis
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis
  • Forensic inspection and cataloguing of damaged components (microscopy, SEM)
  • Component measurement (dimensions)
  • Material characterization (hardness, density, mechanical)
  • Material-fluid compatibility assessment (fluid exposure vessels; ovens)
  • Machining to facilitate inspection and extract test specimens (lathes, saws, CNC)
Example products and components that we investigate as part of polymer failure analysis
  • Pumps and valves (ball, butterfly, pressure relief, bonnet, flow control)
  • Hoses (bunker, choke/kill, sampling, diesel & potable water transfer, umbilical)
  • Drilling and production equipment (compressors, plate heat exchangers, packers, BOP, subsea and surface test trees, liner hangers, well tractors, swivels)
  • Pipelines for natural gas and chemical processing (coatings, liners)
  • Miscellaneous (vent plug, burst disc, pulsation dampener, hammer lug union, pig trap door, dump pit liner, harbor fender, flange gaskets) 
Our polymer failure analysis approach 

We have extensive experience of aligning the failed component’s condition with its service environment. This is achieved by working very closely with our clients and gathering relevant data from the field, such as: 

  • Component location and function (engineering drawings)
  • Material type and grade (data sheet, part label)
  • Service conditions (fluids, temperature, pressure, duration)
  • Design conditions (temperature, pressure, static/dynamic) 
  • Previous issues with this or similar components
For more information about our polymer failure analysis services, or to request a quote, contact us today.

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Our deliverable is certainty - high quality data, test reports and certificates that you can absolutely rely on when making decisions about your materials and compliance. Engage with an expert today.

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