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Durability is the ability of a physical product to remain functional, without requiring excessive maintenance or repair, when faced with the challenges of normal operation over its design lifetime.[1]:5 Several units may be used to measure the durability of a product according to its field of application, such as years of life, hours of use, and operational cycles.[2] In economics, good with a long usable life are referred to as durable goods.

Requirements for product durability[edit]

Product durability is predicated by good reparability and regenerability in conjunction with maintenance.[3] Every durable product must be capable of adapting to technical, technological and design developments.[3] This must be accompanied by a willingness on the part of consumers to forego having the "very latest" version of a product.

Durability as a characteristic relating to the quality of goods that can be demanded by consumers was not clearly established until an amendment of the law[which?] relating to the quality standards for supplied goods in 1994.[4]

Product life spans and sustainable consumption[edit]

The lifespan of household goods is a significant factor in sustainable consumption.[5] Longer product life spans can contribute to eco-efficiency and sufficiency, thus slowing consumption in order to progress towards a sustainable level of consumption.[6] Cooper (2005) proposed a model to demonstrate the crucial role of product life spans to sustainable production and consumption.[6]

Types of durability[edit]

Durability can encompass several specific physical properties of designed products, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cooper, Tim (1994). "Beyond Recycling: The longer life option" (PDF). The New Economics Foundation, Whitechapel Road, London: 5. 
  2. ^ Stahel, Walter (2010). "Durability, Function and Performance". In Cooper, Tim. Longer Lasting Products: alternatives to the throwaway society. Farnham: Gower. ISBN 978-0-566-08808-7. 
  3. ^ a b J. Lienig; H. Bruemmer (2017). "New Design Strategy – Product Durability". Fundamentals of Electronic Systems Design. Springer International Publishing. pp. 201–203. ISBN 978-3-319-55839-4. 
  4. ^ Ervine, Cowan (2010). "Durability and the Law". In Cooper, Tim. Longer Lasting Products: alternatives to the throwaway society. Farnham: Gower. ISBN 978-0-566-08808-7. 
  5. ^ Cooper, Tim (1994). "The durability of consumer durables". Business Strategy and the Environment. 3 (1): 23–30. doi:10.1002/bse.3280030103 – via Willey. 
  6. ^ a b Cooper, Tim (2005). "Slower Consumption Reflections on Product Life Spans and the "Throwaway Society"". Journal of Industrial Ecology. 9 (1–2): 51–67. doi:10.1162/1088198054084671 – via Willey.