Elegant degradation

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Elegant degradation is a term used in engineering to describe what occurs to machines which are subject to constant, repetitive stress.

Externally, such a machine maintains the same appearance to the user, appearing to function properly. Internally, the machine slowly weakens over time. Eventually, unable to withstand the stress, it eventually breaks down.[1] Compared to graceful degradation, the operational quality does not decrease at all, but the breakdown may be just as sudden.[2]

This term's meaning varies depending on context and field, and may not be strictly considered exclusive to engineering. For instance, this is used as a mechanism in the food industry as applied in the degradation of lignin, cellulose, pentosan, and polymers, among others.[3] The concept is also used to extract chemicals such as the elegant degradation of Paederus fuscipes to obtain pederin and hemiacetal pseuodopederin.[4] In this process degradation is induced by heat. A play with the same name also used it as a metaphor for the current state of the world.[1][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lauriola, Rosanna; Demetriou, Kyriakos (2015). Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides. Leiden: BRILL. p. 253. ISBN 9789004249370.
  2. ^ http://www.assetinsights.net/Glossary/G_Elegant_Degradation.html
  3. ^ Rutkowski, A. (1978). Advances in Smoking of Foods. Oxford: Pergamon Press. p. 1643. ISBN 0080220029.
  4. ^ Lindberg, Thomas (1991). Strategies and Tactics in Organic Synthesis, Volume 3. San Diego, CA: Academic Press,. p. 201. ISBN 0124502822.
  5. ^ "Elegant Degradation: An Adaptation of Orestes 2.0". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-01-04.