There are times when it’s not possible to test to failure under accelerated test conditions, instead it might be that testing to almost failure is enough, Reliability Degradation Analysis (DA) gives us the possibility to measure and quantify key life parameters.
Degradation analysis can be directly related to the presumed failure of the product in question. Many failure mechanisms can be directly linked to the degradation of part of the product; degradation analysis allows us to extrapolate to an assumed failure time based on the measurements of degradation or performance over time.
Which failure mode?
Given a product we’ll be able to work out the key functional & performance parameters that need to be in compliance in order for the product to function as intended. When we know these we’re able to work backwards to possible failure modes that would induce a degradation in performance or function, once we know these we determine appropriate stresses to apply to accelerate degradation.
How can we use the data?
The data will provide you with an insight into how your product degrades before a failure mode becomes latent. This gives you the ability to confidently specifiy B10 life, shelf life, maintenance and inspection intervals and warranty periods.
Examples of Degradation Analysis
Degradation Analysis is the perfect tool for determining shelf life, or operating life when testing to failure is not an option. Examples of products that are well suited to degradation analysis include:
- DC & AC motors including fans
- Plastics & polymers
- Circuit boards & connectors
- Chemicals, biotechnology products & pharmaceuticals
- High cost items where sample size is very limited