Common Mode Failure

Apart from the independent failure treated previously, the possibility of common mode failures in technical system has to be contemplated [86]. This type of failure leads to the simultaneous unavailability of several components, and it especially grave if it affects a redundant structure, i.e. several components instead of one arranged in such a way that one of them is capable of performing the mission of the principal components. According to [86] the common modes may be distinguished as follow:

1. Failures of two or more redundant components or partial systems which are of similar or identical design owing to an outside cause, for example a corrosive environment which leads to rapid component degradation.

2. Failure of two or more redundant components or partial systems which occur as a consequence of a single failure; this type of common mode failure is called causal failure.

3. Failure of two or more redundant components or partial systems which occur as a consequence of functional dependences as for example, the dependence on a common auxiliary system.

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