bathtub curve

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bathtub curve

[′bath‚təb ‚kərv]
(industrial engineering)
An equipment failure-rate curve with an initial sharply declining failure rate, followed by a prolonged constant-average failure rate, after which the failure rate again increases sharply.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bathtub curve

Common term for the curve (resembling an end-to-end section of one of those claw-footed antique bathtubs) that describes the expected failure rate of electronics with time: initially high, dropping to near 0 for most of the system's lifetime, then rising again as it "tires out". See also burn-in period, infant mortality.
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