therealjustin

Problem with Parts Cracking

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what message was TLG sending to have bennys helmet cracked / broken. if you ask me it was a dumb move! "our stuff breaks but its okay?" :sceptic::hmpf_bad:

The message is "The people that wrote this story get you. They actually played with these toys in the 80s."

For me it brings back memories I am fond of. That's the whole point of this movie.

As for "our stuff breaks", "sets fall apart on the shelf" and the general "this is unacceptable" point of view, I honestly cannot agree.

First of all, in 20+ years of playing with Lego bricks I've had four pieces break to the point they were unusable:

- a blade on one of these: http://brickset.com/parts/4289255 (I stepped on it - this actually had a very large impact on me as a kid, I started being a lot more careful with everything)

- one end pin on one of these: http://brickset.com/parts/615726

- one end pin on two of these: http://brickset.com/parts/292626

The bearing plates broke after 10+ years during which I'd say they were used (wheels spinning on them) continuously for at least 10 minutes / day on average, leading to 25 days of continuous play time. I'd say for a piece of plastic produced in the 90s this is exceptional.

Second, the Technic parts are not "unusable" or broken. I don't build LPEs so I've never put them under that kind of stress but I'm pretty confident they won't crumble.

Do you own _anything_ that's lasted for 21 years and is still usable? Honestly, it's hard accept that 21 years have passed since I got that set for Christmas and it's still in a box somewhere, ready to be played with.

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It's all true, but it just doesn't seem to be in line with the "only the best is good enough " statement and the prices commanded.

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Eh ok, I propose that TLG have a 25 year delay on releasing any new part, so they can be sure that it's to collector standards (won't degrade over time).

Sound good?

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If I discovered a few cracked pieces in twenty years, I could live with that but not with sets two or three years old.

I still have K'Nex purchased back in the early 90's that look brand new to this day so Lego should have no trouble.

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Eh ok, I propose that TLG have a 25 year delay on releasing any new part, so they can be sure that it's to collector standards (won't degrade over time).

Sound good?

There are companies that do "Accelerated Life Testing". TLG must be doing it too and I'd say they have been doing it for a long time.

As with any other polymer whatever TLG uses is subject to degradation caused by light, heat, humidity and oxygen exposure and obviously mechanical failure.

They probably also test for chemical degradation caused by detergents.

And resistance of a certain polymer to all of these is influenced by every substance used to produce it. Color included.

If I discovered a few cracked pieces in twenty years, I could live with that but not with sets two or three years old.

I still have K'Nex purchased back in the early 90's that look brand new to this day so Lego should have no trouble.

K'Nex parts are made out of a softer, more "bendable" polymer that's less prone to mechanical failure.

That's good, but a trade-off TLG cannot make in Technic sets where you need more stiffness to keep the precision required for complex mechanisms like differentials linked via solid axles to piston engines for example.

My point is that it's pretty hard to make a polymer that's ideal from every perspective and trade-offs have to be made.

Edited by sergiuparaschiv

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There are companies that do "Accelerated Life Testing". TLG must be doing it too and I'd say they have been doing it for a long time.

Eh, well it didn't catch this one :wink:

My point is that it's pretty hard to make a polymer that's ideal from every perspective and trade-offs have to be made.

+1, engineering is hard. :classic:

I only noticed these cracks a couple of weeks ago when disassembling a couple of sets from around 2008 (sat on shelves for 5 years). Co-incidental that within short time, there's a thread here with lots of people reporting same? Probably.

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A lot of people have been aware of these faults, including TLG.

Most of us are OK with this and understand the reasoning behind why this is happening.

It's also OK _not_ to be happy with this situation and to my knowledge TLG has a helpful attitude towards people with reasonable complaints.

I know "reasonable" is a pretty harsh word :)

I'd say asking for a replacement helmet for a Benny that's 20 years old is not reasonable but I bet if it were a common demand TLG would satisfy everyone and win at PR.

Edited by sergiuparaschiv

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What are people really complaining about? Do you want LEGO to be made out of titanium alloys? Nobody would be able to afford sets then, well except nasa and some other guys. Besides titanium alloys have a very limited color patterns. Is that what you people want?

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Eh ok, I propose that TLG have a 25 year delay on releasing any new part, so they can be sure that it's to collector standards (won't degrade over time).

Sound good?

sure, that's why no 8880 successor yet, they are testing the new parts since 1995, just 5 years to go.

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sure, that's why no 8880 successor yet, they are testing the new parts since 1995, just 5 years to go.

hahahahahahaha :blush::sweet::laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh::grin: :grin: :tongue: :tongue: :thumbup: !!!!

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The worst part I have had is pearl grey 3l thin liftarms that actually fell apart.

I have had that problem too. :cry_sad: This makes me very worried, as it could mean that all metallic parts suffer from Gold/Metallic Plastic Syndrome. It's something first noticed by the Transformers fandom, where figures made out of a particular kind of metallic colored plastic started disintegrating, even with no handling. You can read more about it on TFwiki: Link. I thought for sure that Lego parts would not be vulnerable, because of the fact that they were made much later, and Lego quality standards are higher, but I may be wrong.

However, there is a solution. I'm thinking about Supergluing some of my cracked liftarms back together, maybe using a toothpick to get in there, and then hold the part to restore it to full functionality.

Edited by Saberwing40k

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For some it is worse than one part breaking in 25 years. There was another thread here a week ago in which someone said over 100 pieces broke in three sets that he bought brand new and assembled last year. That is beyond bad.

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The good thing in MOCing and not collecting and having digital designer tools and internets is that this thing is not such a problem for me. I cannot afford to keep everything build (too much money and more importantly too much space) anyway, nothing is kept built for more than a few months and only a few parts crack like that which can be exchanged continuously without spending significant money (plus part with cracks are still usable in not demanding situations).

My usual dilemma with part usage: always disassemble everything if they are not used, or keep stuff assembled? Being assembled or repeated assembling/disassembling hurts the parts more? I usually choose the former but maybe I should rewise that strategy.

By the way if you are a collector and afraid that your models will fell apart after ages (and don't intend to take them apart) then simply glue the problematic parts to the axles. This won't affect playability and displayability.

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Despite my vast collection, I have very, very little problem with parts cracking. The only that I can think of are the 4L white liftarms on the shuttle payload bay doors and an occasional half bushing. Perhaps climate has something to do with it if it is not UV related.

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From what I can see the problem is definitely being caused by the ridges inside pieces like 32184, 32291 and 42003. If you insert an axle into one of these parts you can feel when the ridges on the inside start to grip.

For some reason the ridges are only placed in the middle which causes the force to be centered in the middle, causing the part to bulge slightly and over time it will eventually crack.

16392162981_94b158c664_o.jpg

post-27811-0-57484600-1422517874_thumb.jpg

Edited by therealjustin

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The old half bushings with the crown teeth were cracking like crazy. Almost all of mine are cracked.

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Despite my vast collection, I have very, very little problem with parts cracking.

How much do you build, disassemble and rebuild?

I'm asking, because I have a very large problem with parts cracking. It doesn't seem color-related or part-type-related. All connectors having a "bush" element have the exact same problem, and all half-beams with axle holes have the same problem.

I already have the first cracked 92907.jpg.

For me the conclusion is simple: all those parts have a design fault where they are designed with too much clutch power. Some new sets are a nightmare to pull apart (9390 was a particularly bad case) because all the axle holes hold so darn tight it's not funny anymore. And it's not even needed - everything is braced, then braced orthogonally, and then secured in the third dimension, so even with 25% of the current clutch power everything would still work, but sets would be easier to pull apart and parts would last much longer.

Many gears have less clutch power - and more "flesh" around the hole - so logically they don't crack. (The only gears I have had cracked in my whole life is a few old 14t's, one or two 8t's, and a few of the old 24t's with three axle holes.)

Also, round holes never crack because the hole is stronger than the pin, while for axleholes, the axle is stronger than the hole.

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How much do you build, disassemble and rebuild?

Very rarely. But the OP spoke of problems with parts cracking on the shelf.

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I stopped collecting diecast cars because my 1:18 and 1:43 scale models were starting to get paint bubbling and some even had cracking metal bodies due to cheap materials. It seems my LEGO days may be over as well as I cannot afford to have $200+ sets fall apart on the shelf.

I'd sell them super-quick, loads of mine have cracked parts. If everyone sells, the market price will collapse, so you want to get in early. Also you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, then you'd never get your money back.

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The diecast cars or the LEGO? :laugh: I already sold most of my 1:18 cars but the few that are left look terrible.

It is clear as Erik said that the problem is too much clutch power. Whether it be with the small ridges inside certain parts or thin beams, the stress is too much for plastic.The focus shifts to stopping the cracking before it starts and the only way to do that is by sanding down the pieces.

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Just checked my 42000 Grand Prix Racer and all of the 32291 and 42003 pieces are showing the same stress fractures. Most are not all the way through but that does not matter. The grip level is noticeably less than an unbroken piece.

16221011360_6ffa8cf479_c.jpg

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I have had some success in repairing crack parts using ABS liquid or super glues.

Insert a axle into the part to open up the crack.

Usings syringe or fine paint bush apply the glue to the crack.

Immediately remove axle.

Squeeze part together and allow to dry.

Part now OK for light duties with friction hold resored.

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