International Science Index


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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