A Thermodynamic Entropy Approach to Reliability Assessment with Applications to Corrosion Fatigue
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This paper outlines a science-based explanation of damage and reliability of critical components and structures within the second law of thermodynamics. The approach relies on the fundamentals of irreversible thermodynamics, specifically the concept of entropy generation as an index of degradation and damage in materials. All damage mechanisms share a common feature, namely energy dissipation. Dissipation, a fundamental measure for irreversibility in a thermodynamic treatment of non-equilibrium processes, is quantified by entropy generation. An entropic-based damage approach to reliability and integrity characterization is presented and supported by experimental validation. Using this theorem, which relates entropy generation to dissipative phenomena, the corrosion fatigue entropy generation function is derived, evaluated, and employed for structural integrity and reliability assessment of aluminum 7075-T651 specimens.