Modeling Degradation Using Thermodynamic Entropy



Michael D. Bryant


Manufacture transforms raw materials into finished components. Ageing and degradation of components, driven by dissipative processes, irreversibly alter material structures. The second and third laws of thermodynamics assert that these dissipative processes must generate entropy. This entropy is a fundamental quantity to describe ageing and degradation.

This recognition led to a Thermodynamic Degradation Paradigm encapsulated in a Degradation Entropy Generation (DEG) Theorem, wherein the rate of degradation was related to the irreversible entropies produced by the underlying dissipative physical processes that age and degrade components. This paradigm and theorem permit a structured approach to modeling degradation of any kind. If properly applied, the DEG Theorem leads to a differential equation in a variable that describes the degradation. The equation depends on the operational and environmental variables that characterize the system. Integration of the equation accumulates the degradation over time. This approach has led to accurate models for progression of and failure by wear, fatigue, and battery degradation that are consistent with prior models.

This article will review the Thermodynamic Degradation Paradigm and Degradation Entropy Generation Theorem, and apply these to formulate predictive models of wear, fatigue, and battery degradation, i.e., differential equations that govern the degradation or ageing. The article will conclude with a discussion on how to use these governing degradation equations for machine prognosis.

How to Cite

D. Bryant, M. . (2014). Modeling Degradation Using Thermodynamic Entropy. Annual Conference of the PHM Society, 6(1).
Abstract 41 | PDF Downloads 52



failure analysis, entropy, ageing, degradation, thermodynamics

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