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(6 Apr 2011 17:01 GMT) - It can be a total surprise: car tires burst, sealing rings fail and even your dearly beloved panton chair or your freely oscillating plastic chair develops cracks and the material gets fatigued. The reason for this often sudden and unforeseen material failure is triggered by microcracks that may be found in any component. You may hardly see these cracks and they may grow fast or slow. This also applies to fractures in components made of plastic that can be elastically formed. Sealing rings or tires are made of these elastomers and they can withstand mechanical loads especially well…
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