RF9: Physics of failure

How stuff fails

Identifying critical components in systems and taking the necessary measures to avoid failures is an essential skill in order to achieve a Reliable design. A component can fail in many ways and as a result of various causes. Understanding the underlying causes of failure and failure mechanisms saves time and money during product development and prevents dissatisfied customers and users.

The participants of ‘Physics of Failure’ acquire practical and detailed knowledge on failure mechanisms in products and their impact on Reliability. The knowledge gained can be applied immediately during Design for Reliability (DfR) and product improvement projects to prevent failures.

Thinking in functions and failure mechanisms is essential during the Product Creation Process (PCP). Loss of functionality implies the failure of a construction or design, which can occur in numerous ways. Insight into the Physics of Failure contributes to the PCP during all phases of developing high-quality and reliable systems.

The training focuses on the identification, understanding and modeling of failure mechanisms. Based on appropriate design measures, the probability of occurrence of failure mechanisms is minimalized. After this, the Reliability can be predicted, accounting for variation due to design, manufacturing and user. Thinking in terms of failure mechanisms during development and insight into failure mechanisms in mechanical, mechatronic, and electronic systems. Topics covered include: Fatigue, Wear-out, Degradation, Connections, Electrical failures and modeling and preventing failure mechanisms.

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  • Information
    The program can be taught in English on request.
  • Program

    Program in 4 blocks of 1 day
    • Failure cause, Failure mechanism, Failure effect. Thinking in terms of failure mechanisms.
    • Risk analysis (FMEA) of a test setup and component; defining failure mechanisms.
    • Fatigue, Material behavior, types of fracture, Hertzian stresses, static and dynamic strength
    • Wear-out mechanisms – Tribology. Pitting, fretting, cavitation, erosion, lubrication, contamination, sealing.
    • Degradation – Chemical reactions. Temperature, humidity, contamination, oxidation, crystallization, ozone, UV radiation. Degradation models such as Arrhenius, Peck, Coffin-Manson, Power law.
    • Failure of connections, bolts, inserts, glues, welds.
    • Electrical failures, such as short circuit, burn-in, contact resistance, SN-whiskers, EMC, ESD.
    • Design guidelines, safety factors and derating.