We introduce the redundancy matrix that expresses clearly the geometrical/topological configuration of the structure. With the matrix, the redundancy of the structure is resolved into redundant components and assigned to each member or rigid joint. The values of the diagonal elements in the matrix indicates the importance of the corresponding members or rigid joints, and the geometrically correlations can be shown with the non-diagonal elements. If a member or rigid joint failures, reassignment of the redundant components can be calculated with the recursive method given in the paper. By combining the indexes of reliability and redundancy components, we define an index concerning the structural robustness. To further explain the properties of the redundancy matrix, we cited several examples of statically indeterminate structures, including two trusses and a rigid frame. With the examples, some simple results and the properties of the matrix are discussed. The examples also illustrate that the redundancy matrix and the relevant concepts are valuable in structural safety analysis.
Reinforced concrete bridges designed by code are intended to achieve target reliability levels adequate for the geographical environment where the code is applicable. Several methods can be used to estimate such reliability levels. Many of them require the establishment of an explicit limit state function (LSF). When such LSF is not available as a close-form expression, the simulation techniques are often employed. The simulation methods are computing intensive and time consuming. Note that if the reliability of real bridges designed by code is of interest, numerical schemes, the finite element method (FEM) or computational mechanics could be required. In these cases, it can be quite difficult (or impossible) to establish a close-form of the LSF, and the simulation techniques may be necessary to compute reliability levels. To overcome the need for a large number of simulations when no explicit LSF is available, the point estimate method (PEM) could be considered as an alternative. It has the advantage that only the probabilistic moments of the random variables are required. However, in the PEM, fitting of the resulting moments of the LSF to a probability density function (PDF) is needed. In the present study, a very simple alternative which allows the assessment of the reliability levels when no explicit LSF is available and without the need of extensive simulations is employed. The alternative includes the use of the PEM, and its applicability is shown by assessing reliability levels of reinforced concrete bridges in Mexico when a numerical scheme is required. Comparisons with results by using the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) technique are included. To overcome the problem of approximating the probabilistic moments from the PEM to a PDF, a well-known distribution is employed. The approach mixes the PEM and other classic reliability method (first order reliability method, FORM). The results in the present study are in good agreement whit those computed with the MCS. Therefore, the alternative of mixing the reliability methods is a very valuable option to determine reliability levels when no close form of the LSF is available, or if numerical schemes, the FEM or computational mechanics are employed.
A reliability-based methodology which uses structural demand hazard curves to consider the increment of the ductility demands of structures with tilting is proposed. The approach considers the effect of two orthogonal components of the ground motions as well as the influence of soil-structure interaction. The approach involves the calculation of ductility demand hazard curves for symmetric systems and, alternatively, for systems with different degrees of asymmetry. To get this objective, demand hazard curves corresponding to different global ductility demands of the systems are calculated. Next, Uniform Exceedance Rate Spectra (UERS) are developed for a specific mean annual rate of exceedance value. Ratios between UERS corresponding to asymmetric and to symmetric systems located in soft soil of the valley of Mexico are obtained. Results indicate that the ductility demands corresponding to tilted structures may be several times higher than those corresponding to symmetric structures, depending on several factors such as tilting angle and vibration period of structure and soil.
Steel tubular towers serving as support structures for large wind turbines are subjected to several hundred million stress cycles caused by the turbulent nature of the wind. This causes highcycle fatigue, which could govern the design of the tower. Maintaining the support structure after the wind turbines reach its typical 20-year design life has become a common practice; however, quantifying the changes in the reliability on the tower is not usual. In this paper the effect of fatigue damage in the wind turbine structure is studied whit the use of fracture mechanics, and a method to estimate the reliability over time of the structure is proposed. A representative wind turbine located in Oaxaca, Mexico is then studied. It is found that the system reliability is significantly affected by the accumulation of fatigue damage.
reliability-based methodology for the assessment and evaluation of reinforced concrete (R/C) structural elements of concrete structures is presented herein. The results of the reliability analysis and assessment for R/C structural elements were verified by the results obtained through deterministic methods. The outcomes of the reliability-based analysis were compared against currently adopted safety limits that are incorporated in the reliability indices β’s, according to international standards and codes. The methodology is based on probabilistic analysis using reliability concepts and statistics of the main random variables that are relevant to the subject matter, and for which they are to be used in the performance-function equation(s) associated with the structural elements under study. These methodology techniques can result in reliability index β, which is commonly known as the reliability index or reliability measure value that can be utilized to assess and evaluate the safety, human risk, and functionality of the structural component. Also, these methods can result in revised partial safety factor values for certain target reliability indices that can be used for the purpose of redesigning the R/C elements of the building and in which they could assist in considering some other remedial actions to improve the safety and functionality of the member.
The strength of reinforced concrete depends on the member dimensions and material properties. The properties of concrete and steel materials are not constant but random variables. The variability of concrete strength is due to batching errors, variations in mixing, cement quality uncertainties, differences in the degree of compaction and disparity in curing. Similarly, the variability of steel strength is attributed to the manufacturing process, rolling conditions, characteristics of base material, uncertainties in chemical composition, and the microstructure-property relationships. To account for such uncertainties, codes of practice for reinforced concrete design impose resistance factors to ensure structural reliability over the useful life of the structure. In this investigation, the effects of reductions in concrete and reinforcing steel strengths from the nominal values, beyond those accounted for in the structural design codes, on the structural reliability are assessed. The considered limit states are flexure, shear and axial compression based on the ACI 318-11 structural concrete building code. Structural safety is measured in terms of a reliability index. Probabilistic resistance and load models are compiled from the available literature. The study showed that there is a wide variation in the reliability index for reinforced concrete members designed for flexure, shear or axial compression, especially when the live-to-dead load ratio is low. Furthermore, variations in concrete strength have minor effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear, and sever effect on the reliability of columns in axial compression. On the other hand, changes in steel yield strength have great effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear, and mild effect on the reliability of columns in axial compression. Based on the outcome, it can be concluded that the reliability of beams is sensitive to changes in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement, whereas the reliability of columns is sensitive to variations in the concrete strength. Since the embedded target reliability in structural design codes results in lower structural safety in beams than in columns, large reductions in material strengths compromise the structural safety of beams much more than they affect columns.