This is a fairly typical example of wear out failure of an aluminum electrolytic capacitor.


This is an optical image of the capacitor that captures the part date code.


This is an image of the top of the device showing the vent, which ruptured and leaked a small amount of electrolyte.


This is an image of the capacitor after dissecting the can. The capacitor roll was charred indicating that the core reached excessive temperature.


This is a plot of capacitance versus age for “passing” capacitors from the same population of capacitors. The trend line is an inverse exponential function indicative of the wear out process.

The analysis results suggest that the capacitor failure was caused by the normal wear out processes that are characteristic of aluminum electrolytic capacitors, i.e. capacitance decreases and electrolyte volume decreases (i.e. capacitor dries out) as the capacitors age and approach end-of-life.

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