Failure analysis – cafetiere

A well-known cookware brand received a customer complaint that a glass cafetiere ('French Press') had "exploded" whilst full of hot liquid and needed to know the cause of the failure.

The company needed to understand whether this was a genuine failure and whether there may be any problems with the product making it unsuitable for market, or alternatively whether the failure was a result of mishandling – so submitted the item to us for investigation.

How did we help?

The remains were sent to us for examination and it was determined that localised impacts from a stainless steel item to the internal surface of the glass had damaged the glass sufficiently that, when hot water was poured into the beaker, the thermal forces caused a fracture to form.

Given the type of product, it was considered that repeated contact from a stainless steel spoon during stirring was most likely to have caused the damage which led to the failure.

Benefit to the client

As a result of the analysis the company knew that there was no need for a product recall, however the care and use instructions for the product were subsequently updated to instruct users not to use metal implements to stir coffee granules.

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