Efficient Tools for Managing Uncertainties in Design and Operation of Engineering Structures
Abstract:Actual load, material characteristics and other
quantities often differ from the design values. This can cause worse
function, shorter life or failure of a civil engineering structure, a
machine, vehicle or another appliance. The paper shows main causes
of the uncertainties and deviations and presents a systematic
approach and efficient tools for their elimination or mitigation of
consequences. Emphasis is put on the design stage, which is most
important for reliability ensuring. Principles of robust design and
important tools are explained, including FMEA, sensitivity analysis
and probabilistic simulation methods. The lifetime prediction of
long-life objects can be improved by long-term monitoring of the
load response and damage accumulation in operation. The condition
evaluation of engineering structures, such as bridges, is often based
on visual inspection and verbal description. Here, methods based on
fuzzy logic can reduce the subjective influences.
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