Journal Article

Improving reliability and reducing risk by separation


The paper introduces the method of separation for improving reliability and reducing technical risk and provides insight into the various mechanisms through which the method of separation attains this goal. A comprehensive classification of techniques for improving reliability and reducing risk, based on the method of separation has been proposed for the first time. From this classification, three principal categories of separation techniques have been identified: (i) assuring distinct functions/properties/behaviour for distinct components or parts (ii) assuring distinct properties/behaviour at distinct time, value of a parameter, conditions or scale and (iii) distancing risk-critical factors. The concept ‘stochastic separation’ of random events and methods for providing a stochastic separation have been introduced. It is shown that separation of properties is an efficient technique for compensating the drawbacks associated with a selection based on homogeneous properties. It is also demonstrated that the method of deliberate weak links and the method of segmentation can be considered as a special case of the method of separation. Finally, the paper demonstrates that the traditional reliability measure ‘safety margin’ is misleading and should not be used as a measure of the relative separation between load and strength.

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Todinov, Michael

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-05-31

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