Lifetime analysis of systems and components

Photo closeup of machinery part

The lifetime expectancy of critical systems and components is vital, when operating and maintaining large-scale processes in e.g. power plants and other load-bearing structures. It is good practise to base the lifetime management and inspections on the assessed condition and related risk evolution, rather than to predetermined intervals. VTT ProperScan provides an in-depth lifetime analysis to help with wise decision-making.

Key facts

Understanding the performance of the material and the whole component in your specific application enables safe and cost-effective maintenance cycle planning. Choosing the right material and component design for the application requires balancing between cost and performance.


In-depth analysis of truecomponent in-service performance and failure mechanisms for avoiding future failures.

A Fitness-for-service assessment, based on established and widely accepted damage failure evaluation procedures, often allows extending component lifetime safely or informs if the damaged component needs to be replaced urgently.

To utilise the full value of your investment you want to avoid unnecessary service breaks and premature replacement investments. Some component defects and material damage can be acceptable, if the conditions to cause a full failure are not met, which can be determined with a detailed assessment of the component and material behavior. The cost of a failure can be astronomical in terms of lost production, people safety and customer value. High temperature material behaviour can vary significantly over time depending on the actual environment parameters, and thus every plant needs to be analysed separately.

Wise decisions based on high-quality lifetime analysis

Knowing the remaining lifetime of your critical components allows you to plan the most efficient maintenance cycle and process revision steps. Investment in high-quality lifetime analysis pays off in more economical and safe choices.

We can offer you a concrete recommendation of components and structures to match your application and business criteria. 

VTT ProperScan provides an in-depth lifetime analysis of your critical components. It is a combination of numerical and semi-analytical tools, multi-technological research and material testing. The tools can comprise of finite element simulations, the use of applicable standards and fitness-for-service procedures while the material testing includes microstructural investigations, standardized and customized mechanical testing (tensile, fatigue, creep, fracture mechanical) and non-destructive testing. VTT ProperScan is based on detailed understanding of customer’s process, historical and planned use conditions, as well as in-depth analysis of real material samples from your component.

Optimum material choices – finding the balance between price and performance

Choosing the right material for a given process or application is no trivial task, and implications of a wrong choice can be severe. The aim is to find the optimum balance between price and performance. VTT has a broad range of expertise in the field from all kinds of processes, applications and operating environments. Combining our material knowledge, experimental laboratories, numerical simulations and scientific competence, we can offer you a concrete recommendation of choices on materials, coatings, welding and other post-processing to match your application and business criteria.

Continuous improvement requires learning from failures

Component and material failures are occasionally bound to happen. The key is to learn from them and use the learnings to implement applicable changes in materials, structures, processes and use patterns.

VTT is your partner to analyse the failure in detail. We look deep into the material microstructure and identify the mechanisms behind the failure in detail, to truly understand what went wrong and why. We perform component-level analyses to determine how the component-level conditions caused the local conditions critical to the material. Based on our analysis we can then provide you with detailed recommendations on critical changes required to avoid similar failures in the future.

Impressive track record of making a difference

VTT is an independent research organisation providing its customers with an unbiased analysis and recommendations to support decision-making. We work both on-site and in VTT laboratories.  

The linked references tell more on how VTT has contributed on a variety of critical applications. The examples range from extending the service life of jet engine turbine blades to material selection of power plant components and beyond.