Title : Failure analysis of single use devices through materials characterisation
Plastics part failure can damage overall product robustness or even the reputation of a company and have significant negative implications. Failures can be due to improper design, materials selection, manufacturing (processing and assembly), end product usage or a combination of these.
Manufacturers attempt to avoid failure but it can be very sudden without any notice. Material properties play the major role in the creation of the full product integrity and robustness. The manufacturer, design engineer and the materials engineer aim to work in collaboration and carefully take into account the application parameters and the full lifecycle of the device during prototype creation stage. Preventive actions will always be taken however if failure cannot be avoided, it brings together an important learning opportunity for the team.
There are a wide variety of plastic failure mechanisms such as overloading, brittle fracture, creep rupture, fatigue, environmental stress cracking and molecular degradation. For example if the device is prone to cyclic loads during application, the key property that defines product integrity is dynamic fatigue. Hence, one needs to carefully understand the component(s) that are susceptible to dynamic loads and analyse the dynamic fatigue behaviour of them. Otherwise if a part is prone to constant loads during application, one needs to study its long term creep behaviour. Key consideration needs to be given to measuring the critical performance requirements for a product given the application and life cycle. At the end, the reason of break needs to be addressed over the specific material property that defines the product integrity (or a combination of properties).
Failure analysis guided by material testing can save a company several times the actual cost of the investigation and dramatically reduce the overall time required to solve the problem. Simple scientific facts brought together with materials testing are worth a million expert ideas. As a materials testing technique, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) can provide extensive information about the structural background and mechanical properties of polymeric materials. As such, the magnitude of degradation and ageing of materials can be spotted with DMA. However, the capabilities of DMA are often not fully understood and are overlooked.
In this session the aim is to address single use devices’ failure analyses by focussing on real life case studies. The case studies will be studied in detail by investigating the reason of failure through extensive and careful materials testing. With plastic component failure it is common to find multiple independent factors play significant role in causing failure. Bringing together the mechanism and cause can be a tough challenge. We will address this challenge by studying the impact of material properties on device failure. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) will mainly be used to evaluate the material properties and understand the cause of failure by gaining insights into the temperature and time dependencies of polymeric materials involved in single use medical devices.
Materials failure costs a million of dollars each year to companies. In this session, I aim to share real life failure analysis case studies. This knowledge can be applied to any polymer industry so to save money and time.
The audience will gain significant knowledge in materials failure analysis techniques conducted by dynamic mechanical analysis. This knowledge will provide insightful information for the designer, the materials engineer and the manufacturer to prevent failure in future designs.