Wei, Z., Start, M., Hamilton, J., and Luo, L., "A Unified Framework for Representing Product Validation Testing Methods and Conducting Reliability Analysis," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 9(2):303-314, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0269.
Durability and reliability performance is one of the most important concerns for vehicle components and systems, which experience cyclic fatigue loadings and may eventually fail over time. Durability and reliability assessment and associated product validation require effective and robust testing methods. Several testing methods are available and among them, three basic testing methods are widely used: life testing, binomial testing (bogey testing), and degradation testing. In fact, their commonalities, differences, and relationships have not been clearly defined and fully understood. Therefore, the maximum potential of these testing methods to generate efficient, optimized, and cost-effective testing plans, consistent results, and meaningful results interpretation have been significantly limited.In this paper, a unified framework for representing these testing methods and conducting reliability analysis in a single damage-cycle (D-N) diagram is provided. The representation of the associated accelerated testing methods in the damage-cycle diagram is also discussed. The effectiveness of the framework for conducting validation testing is demonstrated with several worked examples and case studies. With the framework, more efficient and economical testing plans and procedures could be possible by combining and optimizing these various testing methods.