Wei, Z., Lin, S., Luo, L., Yang, F. et al., "Durability and Reliability Test Planning and Test Data Analysis," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 7(1):84-95, 2014, doi:10.4271/2013-01-2379.
Durability/reliability design of products, such as auto exhaust systems, is essentially based on the observation of test data and the accurate interpretation of these data. Therefore, test planning and related data analysis are critical to successful engineering designs. To facilitate engineering applications, testing and data analysis methods have been standardized over the last decades by several standard bodies such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). However, over the last few years, several effective testing and data analysis methods have been developed, and the existing standard procedures need to be updated to incorporate the new observations, knowledge, and consensus.In this paper, the common practices and the standard test planning and data analysis procedures are reviewed first. Subsequently, the recent development in accelerated testing, equilibrium based data fitting, design curve construction, and Bayesian statistical data analysis is presented. The challenge posed by small sample size is emphasized and the effectiveness of the newly developed methods is demonstrated with several worked examples.