Premature Piston Seal Failure
MAI engineers were called in to determine the cause of multiple piston seal failures by a manufacturer of air compressors. Microscopic examination revealed embedded contaminant particles in the seals.
Analysis of the contaminant particles by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy determined the particles were leaded brass. Evaluation of other components in the compressor identified improperly machined retaining rings as the source of the contaminant.