FHV laboratory for accelerated life testing


Material products are subjected to a variety of stresses during their lifetime, which can come from both the use itself and the environment. Each of these stresses, which can also act simultaneously, reduces the time to failure of the product. While the time to failure should be as long as possible in a sustainable Business and Management, in any case it must be at least longer than the legal warranty period. Manufacturers must therefore already know at the time they place their products on the market when the product will in all likelihood fail and ensure that the expected product life does not fall short of the warranty period.

Members of the young FHV project team discuss the data recorded with the new environmental simulation chambers. (c)FHV

Long-term durability examinations can be used to quantify product reliability using statistical methods, but the examinations are time-consuming and therefore expensive. In addition, statistics alone do not provide assistance in identifying and eliminating failure mechanisms. Against the backdrop of ever shorter product development cycles, however, fast and reliable statements regarding expected service lives and potential weaknesses are essential.

Ageing products quickly

The "Lab4ALT", newly opened at the FHV in June 2021, addresses both requirements by combining artificial aging methods with extensive in-situ and post-mortem analyses. In the FFG-funded project (project number 883971), a scientific hub for accelerated lifetime testing (ALT) and reliability engineering will be developed and established over the next five years. This will provide companies in the manufacturing industry that have to meet high quality standards with a point of contact in the region. "We want to support innovative companies in their efforts to quickly and reliably predict the service life of their materials and products under the influence of various stressors and environmental conditions, as well as help them better understand failure mechanisms. The given funding structure allows us to build competencies exactly where the companies need it," says Stefan Arzbacher, head of the project. Now that the project infrastructure has been set up since the beginning of December, he says, it is the perfect time for industry and Business and Management to help shape the project's goals by tackling problems and challenges as concretely as possible.


January 2022