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Plastic Part Failure Analysis

Course description
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: 240 South Forge Street, Akron, Ohio 44325
Classroom 217 (Located inside the National Polymer Innovation Center)
Cost: $900 USD
CEU's: 1.6
Instructor: Michael Sepe

Course Overview

This course covers elements of a successful plastic product; principles of plastic part design, mold design considerations, material selection, processing, failure analysis tools and failure analysis process.

Please note class times: First day of class - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Second day of class - 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

  1. Elements of a successful plastic product
    • Part design
    • Mold design
    • Material selection
    • Processing
  2. Principles of plastic part design
    • Nominal walls
    • Ribs and other projections
    • Holes and other depressions
    • Designing for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA)
    • Design properties versus inherent properties of materials
  3. Mold design considerations
    • Mold steel selection
    • Managing polymer flow in the mold - runners and gates
    • Cavitation and the effect on balanced flow
    • The economics of cavitation
    • Hot runners versus conventional cold runners
    • Mold temperature control
    • Draft angles and ejection
  4. Material selection
    • Defining the application environment - time, temperature, stresses, etc.
    • Amorphous and semi-crystalline polymers
    • The importance of molecular weight
    • Structural choices within a polymer family
    • Property modifiers and additives
    • Regulatory considerations - UL, NSF, FDA
    • Performance and processability
    • Establishing the cost/performance balance
  5. Processing
    • The fundamentals of polymer flow
    • The effect of material structure on sound processing decisions
    • Machine selection
    • Process control strategies
    • The quest for six sigma
  6. Failure analysis tools
    • Material testing - composition and degradation
      • Molecular weigh evaluations
      • Thermal Analysis - DSC, TGA, DMA, TMA
      • Spectroscopy - FTIR, EDS, XPS, SIMS
    • Microscopy - cross sections and scanning electron microscopy
    • Physical property evaluation - your part is not a tensile bar
    • FEA and its relation to the application environment
    • Advanced characterization of mechanical properties
  7. The failure analysis process
    • Gathering background information
    • Focusing on the four fundamentals of a successful product
    • Conducting the appropriate evaluations
    • Establishing root cause
    • Fixing what is broken
    • Understanding the interactions of multiple causes
    • The role of designs of experiment
    • The cost/benefit analysis of problem solving
    • Following up
  8. Case studies


If you have any questions or need more information about this course, please contact:

Penelope Pinkston


Online Registration


Registration Form

Registration information: Registration shall remain open until posted as closed on the course listing on this site.

Registrations must be guaranteed by check, a purchase order number or a credit card, otherwise the registration will not be processed. Checks should be made payable to "The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center" and must include a copy of your completed registration form. Course fees are due before attending.

All registrations—whether by online, phone, fax or mail—will be confirmed and considered binding and subject to all cancellation policies. If you do not receive a confirmation prior to the class, please call The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center to verify your registration.

Course fee includes classroom instruction, instructional materials, parking permits, continental breakfast, lunch, beverages and refreshment breaks. Travel and hotel accommodations are not included.


Visit our registration webpage to view our cancellation/withdrawal policy.