Effects of damage models in probabilistic assessment of structures: An illustrative example

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Pakrashi, Vikram
O'Connor, Alan J.
Breysse, Denys
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Deterioration modelling of structures has gained significant importance in recent times in relation with structural health monitoring, rehabilitation, maintenance and decision making process. The behaviour of any deteriorating structure (or a network of structures) is extremely important while considering failure as defined from the viewpoint of both the owner/manager and the engineer. Since there are epistemic and aleatory uncertainties associated with any such process, the ideas of failure and the damage model require a probabilistic treatment. The time dependence of damage propagation very often depends on the climate conditions. On the other hand, the definition of failure by the owner and by the engineer may have different focus. These uncertainties and conflicts directly affect the assessment, optimal assessment time, repair and maintenance strategies, associated cost and the final decision regarding a structure at any given point or period of time. The paper discusses how the choice of a deterioration model (even non-functional) of a structure can affect the decision making options regarding a structure based on a probabilistic material and structure independent general framework through a simple and illustrative example. A wooden beam damaged by the growth of fungus is considered to be the benchmark problem in this regard. The damage is modelled to be comprised of two stages – the initiation and the propagation period. A Monte Carlo simulation investigates the effects of environmental parameters, active regions in time, conflicts of owner’s and engineer’s criteria and the critical location in a structure in terms of possible destructive or non destructive instrumentation.
Damage modelling , Probabilistic assessment , Probability of failure
Pakrashi, V., O'Connor, A., Breysse, D., 2008. Effects of damage models in probabilistic assessment of structures: An illustrative example. In: MEDACHS 08 (Marine Environment Damage to Atlantic Coast Structures and Buildings: Methods of Assessment and Repair) 1st International Conference, Construction Heritage in Coastal and Marine Environments: Damage, Diagnostic, Maintenance and Repair. Lisbon, Portugal 28-30 Jan 2008.
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