Engineering Failure Analysis, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 1597-1606, July 2009.

Improving the Reliability of a Water Dispenser Lever in a Refrigerator Subjected to Repetitive Stresses

Seong-woo Woo
Dongsu Ryu
SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
272, Oseon-Dong
Gwangsan-Gu Gwangju-City 506-723
South Korea

Dennis L. O’Neal
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX, USA

Michael Pecht
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Based on field data and a tailored set of accelerated life tests, the drawer system of food storage in a French refrigerator was redesigned. Using a force balance analysis, the simple mechanical loads of the drawer system were evaluated. The failure modes and mechanisms found experimentally were similar to those of the failed samples in the field. Failure analysis, accelerated life tests and corrective action plans were used to identify the key control parameters and level for the mechanical drawer system. The missing controllable design parameters of the drawer system in the design phase included no corner rounding and rib thickness in the intersection areas between the box and its cover, the right, center support and left rail system. After a tailored series of accelerated life tests with corrective action plans, the B1 life of the new draw system is now guaranteed to be over 10 years with a yearly failure rate of 0.1%.

Keywords: Robustness, Parameter design, Load analysis, Accelerated life testing.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.


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