Review of fan life evaluation procedures

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Improving the reliability of air cooled electronic equipment must include focusing on the life expectancy of the fans or blowers. Evaluating fan failure behavior, however, is not a trivial problem, as vendors report very little information on this subject. Even when product literature provides such data, one vendors results are generally impossible to compare with anothers due to different test procedures, different assumptions, and different calculation methods, not all of which are explicitly defined. This paper is designed to help thermal and component evaluation engineers who have been assigned the task of sorting through these sometimes conflicting, often incompatible, claims regarding fan quality. We start with a definition of fan failure in terms of rotational speed, running current, and acoustic noise. Some basic statistical principles, such as Weibull hazard rate, Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) and L 10 life, are presented in the reliability section, leading into methods for the estimation of fan life. Boosers equation for grease life is included and its limitations for modern greases are noted; the standard equation for bearing rating life is also covered. To verify calculated fan life estimates, a designed experiment may be performed. A basic formula for the design of a fan life experiment is given, together with a brief analysis of published failure data from such an experiment. Most fan life tests are conducted under stress conditions, such as high temperature, that accelerate fan failures. The final section discusses accelerated life testing, including potential pitfalls. Simulating a mini-textbook, the paper contains valuable everyday reference material, including sample calculations to illustrate the concepts reviewed. © World Scientific Publishing Company.
Publisher
World Scientific Publishing Co
Issue Date
1996
Language
English
Citation

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RELIABILITY, v.3, no.1, pp.75 - 96

ISSN
0218-5393
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/75743
Appears in Collection
ME-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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