The complexity of engineering systems is growing steadily with the introduction of advanced materials and modern protective methods. Even at the most basic level, the multiple interactions between defects, faults and the failure of a system can be extremely complex as illustrated here in a graphical representation of the interrelations between a defect, a fault, and the failure of a system.
This increasing technical complexity is paralleled by an increasing awareness of the risks, hazards and liabilities related to the operation of engineering systems. However, the increasing cost to replace equipment is forcing people and organizations to extend the useful life of their systems. The prediction of damage caused by environmental factors remains a serious challenge during the handling of real life problems or the training of adequate personnel. Mechanical forces, which have normally little effect on the general corrosion of metals, can act in synergy with operational environments to cause the most sudden failures by a localized corrosion mechanism.
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