Various experimental methods are needed to examine the physical remains when polymer products fail. It may include many samples, or just a unique example, so care is needed in the choice of methods. It is also valuable to examine intact samples of a failed product to check their integrity using similar methods. A central aim of this chapter is to review the range of methods for analyzing polymers and it includes the:
• methods for characterization of polymers
• theoretical background to particular methods
• most appropriate methods for a given failure.
However, it is worth reiterating that the cause of many failures can be detected by careful examination using low-power magnification ...