The in-service failure of coatings, adhesives, sealants and a range of materials including wood, metal, plastics, composites, foams and elastomers, is always a major issue. In establishing the cause of the failure, we need to examine the failure from two prime angles, root cause analysis and causation analysis. We define root cause analysis as the investigative process to identify the original cause for the failure. Causation analysis examines the role of one variable factor upon another and endeavours to look at the relationships existing and examines avenues of events and outcomes.

For many years, we have acted as Expert Witness in a wide range of contentious cases. Adhesives failure in bonded materials, sealant failure in construction applications, materials degradation and failure, we have the expertise to get to the bottom of how and why the failure occurred.

As the leading provider of polymer and materials forensic services, our multidisciplinary team has the equipment, scientific resources and expertise to undertake the most complex investigations to the highest quality and present our findings in the most clear and understandable way possible. Our analysts have the ability to break down the most technical issues for interpretation by nontechnical people such as Solicitors and Counsel. In materials failure issues, we are at your service.

In several recent cases, our assistance was sought in the following enquiries:

Within a large construction project, we determined that a ceramic tile adhesive was incorrectly mixed and applied, resulting in severe bond failure. Over 4000 M/Sq of Italian marble floor tiles had to be removed and replaced.

Severe coating failure was present upon an exterior car deck. Microscopic analysis of the coating film showed that the contractor had failed to use the concrete primer which was part of the four coat system. The coating upon the 2,000 M/Sq deck had to be removed and replaced.

A 40,000 litre water tank was found to be leaking large volumes of water. Analysis of a sealant which was used to seal the joints upon the metal tank, showed that the metal surface was unclean when the sealant was first applied.

Failure of a waterbased coating upon exterior timber doors. Our chemical analysis of the plywood showed that the plywood was interior grade, incorrectly marked as exterior grade. Four hundred doors had to be replaced.

A medical device manufacturer experienced an issue when using a two component silicone elastomer. We established that the drum in which one of the components was supplied, was contained microscopic particles of metal, which caused premature crosslinking to occur.