Crystal damage
Frequency Crystals (used by laser turrets), and Mining Crystals, used by modulated mining modules ^{[Note 1]} in EVE Online may receive "damage" and eventually be consumed (or in common terms, shatter). These crystals have a hitpoint value much like any other destructible object, and shattering occurs when enough damage is taken by the crystal to lower its hitpoints to zero. The life expectancy of a given crystal, i.e. the average amount of time it may be used before it shatters, may be calculated from its attributes.
As with most transportable objects in EVE Online, one may rightclick a combat or mining crystal and choose Show Info. The information in which we are interested is within the Attributes tab of the Show Info window.
Contents
Attributes
Four attributes affect the life expectancy of a crystal. These attributes function identically for both combat and mining crystals.
Structure Hitpoints
This is the total hitpoints of the crystal. All crystals in the game have exactly 1 HP.
Volatility
This attribute is the chance of the crystal taking damage upon every activation cycle. For example, a Volatility of 10% would mean that for each activation cycle the crystal has a 10% (1 in 10) chance of receiving damage. The actual amount of damage is fixed and is given by the Volatility Damage attribute.
Some combat crystals (Faction) have a 100% chance of damage per shot. It also means that the life expectancy of these combat crystals may be calculated exactly because every shot will always damage the crystal, i.e. a 100% chance of crystal damage inflicted per shot.
Volatility Damage
This is the actual amount of damage the crystal may receive during an activation cycle based upon its Volatility.
Crystals Take Damage
This attribute is always either True or False. If it is True, then the crystal takes damage based upon the other attributes above, and it will eventually shatter.
The only crystals in the game whose Crystals Take Damage value is False are the Tech 1 combat crystals. These will never take damage and thus they may be used indefinitely. Note that if the value of this attribute is False, then it will not even be listed in the Attributes tab of the Show Info window.
Activation Cycles
In terms of Volatility, an Activation Cycle is a single cycled use of a crystal by the turret within which it is loaded. With combat crystals, each time the energy weapon is fired is considered one cycle.
With mining crystals, a cycle may begin with the activation of the mining laser and may end with either the deactivation of the laser or the acquisition of materials (ore or ice). This means that a cycle is completed even if a mining laser is turned off early. Repeatedly turning a mining laser on and off will risk damaging the crystal whether or not any actual materials were mined.
Formula
The formula for determining average life expectancy of a crystal is simple:
 [math]\text{Life Expectancy (in cycles)} = \text{Structure Hitpoints} / \text{Volatility} / \text{Volatility Damage}[/math]
For mining crystals, one may then multiply the expected cycles by the cycle time to calculate a crystal's life expectancy over time. Remember that Volatility is a percentage, so for example, a crystal with a Volatility of 10% must use the value 0.10 in the equation.
Examples
As the volatility damage is chance based the following numbers are only an indication.
The Simple Asteroid Mining Crystal Type A I has a Volatility of 10%, which means that for every cycle there is a 10% chance that it will receive damage. The amount of damage it receives will be the Volatility Damage value of 0.05 HP. It will shatter when its total damage reaches the Structure Hitpoints value of 1 HP.
This means that, on the average, the crystal has a life expectancy of [math]1 / 0.10 / 0.05 = 200[/math] cycles. With a standard (unbonused) strip mining cycle time of 180 seconds, one may estimate that a crystal will endure approximately 36,000 seconds, or 10 hours, of constant mining before shattering.
The Simple Asteroid Mining Crystal Type A II has a Volatility of 12%. It has the same 0.05 HP Volatility Damage and 1 HP Structure Hitpoints as the Tech I variant. As a result, the crystal has a life expectancy of [math]1 / 0.12 / 0.05 = 166[/math] cycles, about 8 hours.
However, a ship using these crystals will likely not be operating unbonused; it will likely be flying with significant improvements to its mining cycle time. So, while an unbonused strip miner cycle takes 180 seconds and a Tech II A type crystal would last around 8 hours, strip miners fitted to a maxskilled Hulk ^{[Note 2]}, enhanced by a Mining Laser Optimization Charge from a Rorqual ^{[Note 3]}, can cycle in as little as ~73 seconds, thus reducing the crystals lifespan to a mere 141 minutes.
The math for strip miner duration reduction


Only using a Hulk ^{[Note 2]} with all relevant skills to level V.

However, to compensate, if further enhanced by a Mining Equipment Preservation Charge, the crystals' volatility can be reduced by up to ~44%, resulting in a new life expectancy of [math]1 / 0.067 / 0.05 = 298[/math] cycles, which at ~73 seconds per cycle comes out to ~21,754 seconds, or ~6 hours of constant mining before shattering.
The math for crystal volatility reduction


Using a Tech 2 Mining Foreman Boost and all relevant skills to V.

Quick reference
Crystal Type  Tech  Volatility  Volatility Damage  Expected Cycles 

Frequency Crystals  Tech I^{[Note 5]}  N/A  N/A  (Infinite) 
Frequency Crystals  Faction  100%  0.00025HP  4000 
Frequency Crystals  Tech II  10%  0.01HP  ~1000 
Mining Crystals Type A  Tech I  10%  0.05HP  ~200 
Mining Crystals Type A  Tech II  12%  0.05HP  ~166 
Mining Crystals Type B  Tech I  15%  0.05HP  ~133 
Mining Crystals Type B  Tech II  19.6%  0.05HP  ~102 
Mining Crystals Type C  Tech I  24%  0.05HP  ~83 
Mining Crystals Type C  Tech II  30%  0.05HP  ~66 
Notes
 ^ Tech 2 modules with "Modulated" in the name:
 Modulated Strip Miner II
 Modulated Deep Core Miner II
 Modulated Deep Core Strip Miner II
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} Applicable bonuses for the Hulk:
 Role bonus: 15% reduction in Strip Miner duration
 Exhumers bonus: 3% reduction in Strip Miner duration per level
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} Applicable bonuses for the Rorqual:
 Mining Foreman Burst
 Capital Industrial Ships bonus: 5% bonus to Mining Foreman Burst effects strength and duration per level (Ship bonus)
 Mining Director  10% bonus to the strength of Mining Foreman Burst effects per level.
 Mining Foreman Burst II  25% bonus to the effect strength of charges launched
 Mining Foreman Mindlink  25% bonus to Mining Foreman Burst strength and duration
 Industrial Core  Tech I 30%, Tech II 36% bonus to Mining Foreman Burst strength
 Mining Foreman Burst charges
 Mining Laser Optimization Charge: 15% reduction in Strip Miner duration
 Mining Equipment Preservation charge: 15% reduction in the Crystal Volatility
 Mining Foreman Burst
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} For the formula see: Calculating Command Burst bonuses
 ^ Crystals Take Damage is false so these crystals take no damage.