Stress and Strength Interference Theory (SSIT) is a fundamental theory for reliability assessment. It has been widely used as a foundation for design-for-reliability (DFR). However, SSIT and associated methodology and tools, that require detailed definitions of constructional and form structure, are only applicable to an embodiment design. As many researchers have attempted to push DFR upfront to a conceptual and functional design stage, SSIT loses its usefulness, while other equivalent theory and tools for conceptual and functional design-for-reliability do not exist. Therefore, DFR for conceptual and function design becomes ad-hoc that lacks a systematic approach and parametric reliability quantification. In this paper, we first review the literature on stress and strength interference, and then extend the concepts of stress and strength to conceptual stress and conceptual strength that are relevant to conceptual and functional designs. Based on the conceptual stress and conceptual strength, we introduce a Conceptual Stress and Conceptual Strength Interference Theory (CSCSIT) and discuss how it can be applied to support conceptual and function design-for-reliability. We illustrate our theoretical work with a conceptual and function design example. We conclude the paper with a discussion of the future research to further define and substantiate the CSCSIT work.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.