FCP Report No. 4

“Predictive Testing of Metallic Parts”


Thomas J. Dolan
Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
University of Illinois


Safety and reliability of a product must be demonstrated by carefully planned studies before releasing items for sale. Detailed evaluation (both analytically and experimentally) must verify materials selection, design details, and adequacy of processing and fabrication. Accurate simulation of environment, loading history, deterioration, and life performance present many difficulties, but extensive laboratory and field testing can pay good dividends in avoiding later field modifications or costly replacements. Some of the problems of accelerated testing and life predictions are emphasized, including the necessity of foreseeing reasonably possible misuse or abuse of the product by the customer. Statistical variations in loads and operating conditions emphasize the need for interpretation of results on a probabilistic basis.

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