Polymer materials are increasingly finding applications in products that require a service life of several years to several decades. In the process, they are subjected to high stresses due to temperature, climate, weathering and mechanical loads. Developers and product managers would like to estimate as accurately as possible how the properties change over time and what service life can be expected for the component.
In order to carry out a service life estimate, the most accurate information possible must be available on the loads that occur during the life cycle. Based on the load profile, various tests are then carried out and the results are used to calculate the expected service life of a component using special formulas.
The tests for this are defined in close consultation with the customer and the expected influences in the life cycle of the component, in line with the application in each case. Typical influences include temperature, humidity, UV radiation, mechanical loads, notches, weld lines or chemicals. Depending on the availability of material data, separate tests do not have to be carried out for all factors.
At the end of the calculation, the results can also be used to estimate which influence has the strongest effect on reducing the service life. From this, it may be possible to derive measures for optimization or advice for customers.