T. Stadterman, W. Connon, D. Barker
This paper describes a physics-of-failure approach for accelerated life testing of electronic assemblies using vibrational stress. Accelerated life testing is achieved by testing at stress levels great than usage levels, and/or eliminating non-damaging portions of the usage environment from the test process, to reduce the time-to-failure, or life, of the item. The introduction provides a discussion of two difficulties encountered in accelerated life testing that have limited its application and acceptance. By using an example of an accelerated life test program for an U.S. Army electronic system, the paper then describes the steps for planning, conducting, and evaluating an accelerating vibration test. The proposed accelerated testing program reduces system-level testing and testing costs over a conventional reliability test. Development of the accelerated vibration schedules and the use of physics of failure to analyze test data are stressed. Problems encountered during the implementation of this test program are also discussed.
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