Industry's need to predict the lifetime of adhesively bonded joints has been met by the development of a wide variety of techniques. One particular approach utilises the fact that adhesives and the joints they form can be susceptible to moisture attack. The ingress of moisture into, and through, an adhesive or polymer is termed water permeation. Such a phenomenon can be measured extremely accurately (e.g. through mass change, dielectric permittivity, etc) and it has been shown that for particular systems and environments, a good correlation can be made between the accelerated ageing protocol and in-service failure. This approach has been studied extensively for application within the electronics sector where adhesive/polymeric systems are used both to retain components and coat them.
More specific information is given in the following article: R.A. Gledhill, A.J. Kinlock and S.J. Shaw, Journal of Adhesion, 11, 3,1980.