Appliance manufacturers have traditionally performed physical testing using prototypes to assess reliability and service integrity of new product designs. However, for white goods where service lives are measured in years or decades, the use of endurance testing to analyze long time reliability is uneconomical. As accelerated life testing (ALT) is more efficient and less costly than traditional reliability testing, the methodology is finding increased usage by appliance manufacturers. In the present study, a simulation-based ALT approach was used to predict the service life of a polyacetal hinge cam from a consumer refrigerator. A predictive life stress model based on cumulative surface wear under accelerated stress conditions was developed and used to predict time to failure under consumer use. Results show that the life stress model demonstrated good agreement with performance testing data and reasonably predicts hinge life.
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