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A Method for Inferring Conditional Stochastic Failure Rates From the Time-History of Observed Failures

[+] Author Affiliations
David Thompson, Philippe Pébay

Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA

Paper No. DETC2011-47485, pp. 877-885; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 5th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems; 8th International Conference on Design and Design Education; 21st Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5484-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Observed failures, rather than first principles, are used to estimate fatigue rates probabilistically conditioned on operating conditions. The method developed assumes that a normal random variable may be used to approximate the damage limit (remaining lifetime) of components subjected to cumulative damage and that when a component fails, its damage limit has vanished at a rate proportional to the amount of time spent at each operating condition experienced during its lifetime. By considering differences in cumulative damage between pairs of failed components, we obtain the relative rates at which damage is accumulated for each observed operating condition. When the differences in component lifetimes are dominated by variations in experienced conditions, it is possible to estimate absolute rates. Otherwise, variations in initial damage limits dominate and it is only possible to estimate the mean and variance of this distribution. We demonstrate the procedure on synthetic data, including a test for the dominant source of lifetime variations.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Failure



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