Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol. 142, PP. 92-99, October 2015, DOI: 10.1016/J.RESS.2015.04.019

An Empirical Model to Describe Performance Degradation for Warranty Abuse Detection in Portable Electronics

Hyunseok Oh 1, Seunghyuk Choi 1, Keunsu Kim 1, Byeng D. Youn 1, Michael Pecht 2
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151–742, Republic of Korea
2CALCE, Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA


Portable electronics makers have introduced liquid damage indicators (LDIs) into their products to detect warranty abuse caused by water damage. However, under certain conditions, these indicators can exhibit inconsistencies in detecting liquid damage. This study is motivated by the fact that the reliability of LDIs in portable electronics is suspected. In this paper, first, the scheme of life tests is devised for LDIs in conjunction with a robust color classification rule. Second, a degradation model is proposed by considering the two physical mechanisms—(1) phase change from vapor to water and (2) water transport in the porous paper—for LDIs. Finally, the degradation model is validated with additional tests using actual smartphone sets subjected to the thermal cycling of -15°C to 25°C and the relative humidity of 95%. By employing the innovative life testing scheme and the novel performance degradation model, it is expected that the performance of LDIs for a particular application can be assessed quickly and accurately.

This article is available online here and to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.

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