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Life assessment of structural components is used to avoid catastrophic failures and to maintain safe and reliable functioning of equipment. The failure investigator's input is essential for the meaningful life assessment of structural components. This article provides an overview of the structural design process, the failure analysis process, the failure investigator's role, and how failure analysis of structural components integrates into the determination of remaining life, fitness-for-service, and other life assessment concerns. The topics discussed include industry perspectives on failure and life assessment of components, structural design philosophies, the role of the failure analyst in life assessment, and the...

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