Failure Analysis

Failure Analysis at O-Ring Prüflabor Richter

Perhaps you know this: A seal that costs only a few cents fails and this causes that an entire machine or a large vehicle comes to a standstill or sometimes even a total loss occurs, not to mention the damage to life and limb of the user of such equipment. There are probably only few such small technical parts, which have such a serious functional effect.

Failure Analysis as Core Competence

Once such a case occurs, how can it be avoided in the future? How can we learn from a mistake in order to avoid the worst in the future?

For the O-Ring Prüflabor Richter the failure analysis of elastomeric seals and technical molded parts (such as membranes and hoses made from conventional or thermoplastic elastomers – TPEs), that is not only O-rings, is one of its core competences. Since over 15 years and over 1500 cases, the problems, both in production and use of seals were recognized, solved and rectified.

It is often possible to achieve immense cost savings by small changes and optimization in the manufacturing process or application and eliminate the lost image and reputation due to the occurred loss.

Find out more about Failure Analysis

  • Why O-rings actually fail?
  • Failures of O-rings
  • Seminar on Failure Analysis of Elastomer Seals

Practically Relevant Testing Institute

Based on our neutral and profound failure analysis and our broad experience, we are firmly established by know and are readily consulted by both manufactures and users of elastomer seals. Our primary objective is to identify the cause of failure (‘root cause’) initially to be able to suggest appropriate corrective actions. This is where we, as practically relevant testing institute, see the main use for our customers. Moreover through our competent analyses we are also able to contribute to an amicable arrangement in cases of complaint and failure.

With each case of failure a microscopic test of the defective seal, a test of the seal housing and the marginal conditions which have led to the failure rank first before we perform more cost-intensive material analyses. That means we only examine what is actually necessary. In urgent cases it is possible to perform express analyses in order that first insights about the case of failure already may be received after half a day. So well above 90% of all cases of failure can be solved at the expense of 500 to 2000 €. Where it makes sense, we additionally work with external experts in the field of chemical analysis.

State-of-the-art Test Methods and Equipment

If elastomer seals fail, clear traces can often be found which allow draw conclusions about the failure mechanism. With the aid of state-of-the-art test methods and equipment we are able to precisely analyse and limit cases of failure, like for example failure

  • through media which shall be sealed (chemical attack, explosive decompression),
  • through mechanical or physical overstress (abrasion, gap extrusion, spiraling),
  • through deficient groove design (wrong groove depth, sharp edges, too much clearance of diameter),
  • through material deficiencies (wrong polymer, processing deficiencies, too much platiciser concentration, poor state of cure),

to name but a few. As result you receive a meaningful test report including a photographic documentation of your case of failure. Your failed part will be sent back to you or if desired we can also archive it in a technically correct manner at our place.

We look forward to your making contact!