Getting Answers from Off-Gassing – How TGA-IR is Utilized in the Failure Analysis of Polymers

Monday, September 13, 2021: 3:40 PM
240 (America's Center)
Dr. Amy M. Wells , McSwain Engineering, Inc., Pensacola, FL
Dr. Richard McSwain, P.E., FASM , McSwain Engineering, Inc., Pensacola, FL, McSwain Engineering, Inc., Pensacola, FL
Mr. William Carden, MS, PE , McSwain Engineering, Inc., Pensacola, FL
When the evidence in the failure analysis of polymers points towards contamination, improper curing, or composition blends, the investigation turns to chemical analysis for the answers. Common techniques such as FTIR and mass spectrometry have historically provided many answers. However, combining multiple techniques can be an explosion of information. The presentation will focus on using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) in tandem with FTIR, called TGA-IR, in multiple investigations. The technique, which included heating a sample while analyzing the off-gassed vapors, was used to determine the rubber formulations in tires, epoxy curing mechanisms, as well as additives in plastics and synthetic fluids.