The service life of a product refers to the length of time it can be used before it needs to be disposed of or recycled. This includes the period from when the product is manufactured until it is no longer usable. The term can also be used to describe the lifespan of other physical items, such as infrastructure, buildings, industrial equipment, and vehicles. The following are examples.
A high rise building may have a service life of 50 years or more. Estimates of service life are relevant to financing arrangements and insurance.
The service life of commercial aircraft commonly exceeds 20 years. Estimates of service life are important to financing and investment decisions for airlines. As aircraft age, they typically require more extensive maintenance to guarantee safety.
Manufacturers of products may provide conservative estimates of service life of several years. This may be done in an attempt to encourage customers to buy again and to limit product liability.
Infrastructure such as solar panels may offer a long warranty in order to increase bankability and allow financing arrangements to span decades.