The physics of failure approach to reliability prediction considers fundamental failure mechanisms such as fatigue, wear, corrosion and creep that can shorten the useful life of a product. The work described here uses this approach for commercial appliance components and presents three examples. This paper also outlines a methodology for developing rate modification factors. These rate modification factors can be used for evaluating design changes, early estimation of failure rates, planning accelerated life tests and assessing risks in component application alternatives. Although the physics of failure approach is not new, the application to relatively inexpensive light service commercially based components extends the application beyond the realm of military and heavy industrial equipment. Simplifying assumptions and the use of manufacturer’s material properties are utilized to create a “cookbook” approach for development of design charts useful for improving product reliability. The principal objective of the work presented here is to demonstrate the development of the design charts and their application to commercially based products.

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