The Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory (RFAL) is an independent research organization within the UAHuntsville Research Institute.
RFAL is a research lab that focuses on expanding the body of knowledge in the reliability engineering discipline. The Lab investigates possible failure mechanisms acting on a part through math modeling and physical testing. By looking at the Physics of Failure, the Lab is able to develop FMEA, FMECA, and FRACAS to aid in the risk assessment of the component.
Our primary focus is RELIABILITY: the probability that a system or component will perform its required functions under stated conditions for its mission duration.
Reliability Engineering is relatively new in comparison to the other engineering disciplines. Over the past few decades there has been a big push for reliability especially with the Department of Defense, Automotive and Aircraft Industries and biomedical devices. Each shares the concern with the complexity of the systems and the high cost of failure.
Reliability is a selling point in industry and it should take place in the design phase of the system. However the maintainability aspect of a system is often overlooked. Designing for reliability and maintainability will enable preventive maintenance actions such as Condition Based Maintenance or Time-Directed Maintenance practices to be easily implemented and ensure that the design criteria will be met. Availability is the ability of the system to be kept in a functioning state and is correlated to Reliability and Maintainability. The lab has the capability to model the reliability and availability for complex systems. RFAL uses UID compliant procedures to track parts or test articles in the lab to model failure, life-cycle costing, and sparing. It can also be applied in a Reliability Centered Maintenance solution to track equipment to aid in increasing the Reliability of the equipment.
Several of our students are giving presentations in the RAM VI workshop sponsored by the Society of Reliability Engineers and the Engineering Directorate. The Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory also has an exhibit highlighting some of the work and capabilities of the lab. Read more
Congratulations to seven of our students who participated in the Reliability and Maintainability Workshop sponsored by the Society of Reliability Engineers and the Engineering Directorate. The Student Session included participants from a number of universities including Auburn, University of Mississippi, University of Arizona and University of Tennessee. As a result of the Student Sessions, our students were awarded a total of $4000.00 in scholarship money. The first place graduate student award was presented to RFAL’s Charles... Read more
by Daniel Sillivant
Availability Analysis of CTBTO's network of sensors that detect seismic activity.
Written for practicing engineers, Practical Reliability Engineering and Analysis for System Design and Life-Cycle Sustainment departs from the mainstream approach for time to failure-based reliability engineering and analysis.
The book employs a far more analytical approach than those textbooks that rely on exponential probability distribution to characterize failure. Instead, the author, who has been a reliability engineer since 1970, focuses on those probability distributions that more accurately describe the true behavior of failure. He emphasizes failure that results... Read more
Five team members of the Research Institute's Reliability and Failure Analysis Lab participated in the Reliability and Maintainability workshop sponsored by the Society of Reliability Engineers and the Engineering Directorate.
The student session included participants from a number of universities. Scholarships were awarded to the winning participants with five of our own students receiving scholarships. First place was awarded to Greg Doud for his presentation on "Material Strength Reliability of an E-Glass Composite". Other scholarship recipients... Read more
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Nov. 9, 2011) - The University of Alabama in Huntsville today celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Research Institute and opened its newest lab, The Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory (RFAL).
RFAL is designed to enable research to reduce the cost of ownership of defense and aerospace systems, according to Rhoades. University officials held a ceremony to mark the official opening of the lab.
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Daniel Sillivant is the newly appointed Director of Memberships for the Reliability, Maintainability and Supportability Partnership (RMSP). Memberships are available for individuals and organizations who are interested in being on the cutting edge of reliability, maintainability, and supportability issues around the globe.
Upcoming Workshop and Symposium: September 19-20, 2012, Springfield, Virginia. "A Road Map to Readiness at Best Cost for Improving the Reliability and Safety of Ground Vehicle"
Join or get more information Read more
This year's theme is "Reliability, the Key to a Better Bottom Line".
RAMS® 2013 will be held at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida, January 28-31, 2013.
More information at RAMS.org Read more