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Accidental low-temperature impact test

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Turns out below-zero temperatures really do affect the mechanical properties of plastics.


Colorado, like much of the country, is currently in a deep freeze, with the below zero temperatures at my house this morning creating an impromptu low-temperature impact test for my ice scraper. The scraper in question had sat in my car all night, which showed an exterior temperature of -4 F. After using it to clear off my vehicle, I leaned the scraper against the car and started shoveling my driveway. Moments later, it fell with a crack, and the actual ice scraper implement split from the rest of the tool in a clean break. I'm guessing I'm not the first person this has happened to, and I'm also guessing most folks blame the failures on "cheap plastics." Anyways, time to buy a new scraper, maybe I'll consult some material data sheets before hand.