Definition - What does Average Life mean?
Average life is the mean calculated period a component is expected to offer service before it fails.
The average life of a metallic component is largely influenced by corrosion arising from environmental and operational factors. By understanding the intended application and operating environment, effective preventive and control techniques can be utilized to improve the average life of a product.
Corrosionpedia explains Average Life
The average life of equipment made from corrosive material can be estimated using standard equations, the material's service life charts and operational environment analysis. By determining the corrosion rate, the material loss over a given period can be calculated and can assist in estimating of the average life expectancy of a material under the tested environmental and operating conditions.
Even though corrosion life tables give estimates of expected life under certain conditions, a thorough analysis is still required for each specific site.
For practical purposes, field measurements of resistivity, pH and other site-specific corrosion analysis must be carried out. A number of similar equipment may be tested in a particular environment with its varying conditions, to obtain a reliable average.
The lifespan of any equipment is dependent on prevailing environmental conditions and durability of the materials used. The design life of most products is based on the assessment of the technical specifications and durability of parts. However the product's actual working life may deviate from this due to several factors beyond the control of the manufacturer, such as:
- Environment location
- Shipping and handling
- Maintenance practice
- Corrosion protection method and its effectiveness
The average life gives a guideline of useful life of the product when safety and reliability are guaranteed. Once the end of estimated corrosion life is reached, safety of the design or product reduces and may cause failures if left unrepaired or unprotected.
A low average life can be used by manufacturers to improve on future designs, product material and corrosion control techniques. This reduces costs for the consumer by savings on replacements, avoiding failures and shutdowns.