Article: “Better predictions of the working life of industrial components”

“A minor disparity between an established mathematical model to predict creep crack growth behavior in materials in high-temperature environments and actual data has prompted Dr. Warwick Payten to reassess the approach and revise the model.”

“Being able to more accurately predict crack growth in real components is highly useful because it allows you to potentially extend the life of operating industrial plants and conventional, solar and nuclear power stations with confidence,” said Payten, a senior nuclear fuel cycle researcher.”

This RLE shows how statistics can be used to predict damages in industrial parts. Predictions, though, are not always accurately and there is a potential for abuse. The numbers can be manipulated or misinterpreted in ways that can sway the results. With May 2021 TOK prescribed title #4, it is extremely important to carefully analyze RLEs to see the positive and negative aspects of the use of statistics.

In this RLE the original model was incorrect leading to flawed results which “concealed” the actual physical changes the model was meant to predict. A re-examination of the model, however, lead to improvements which meant that it was able to “reveal” the situation more accurately.