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MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment of Structures
(EMM 5023)
Course Syllabus and Introduction
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What is the principal objective?
If you think that safety is expensive,
try to have an accident!
Monetary
profit
Failures
Running
technical
system
Learning Objectives
The main objective of the course covers
the:
Definition and concept of structural
reliability including the uncertainty and
certainty modeling.
Definition Risk, failure modes and risk
analysis
An overview of probability and stochastic
modeling
Reliability measurement methods.
Learning Objectives
First order reliability methods (FORM)
Second order reliability methods (SORM)
Reliability assessment of series and parallel
systems
Reliability design and code calibration
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Learning Outcome
At the end of this course, students should
be able to:
Demonstrate the concepts of Reliability of
Structures
Determine the Level of Certainty of
Structural Performance
Perform the Reliability Based Design
Calibrate the Code based on Reliability
Learning Outcome
Determine the Fatigue Reliability of
Structures
Plan the Probability and Risk Based
Inspection
MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment: An
Introduction
Chapter-1
Introduction
Reliability: Risk and Safety in Engineering
WHY?
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Unfortunately, structures fail
Partial collapse of
Pentagon Building
Partial collapse of
CGA Terminal
Minor failures
Failure due to debris impact
Failure due to insufficient shear
capacity
Catastrophic failures
Collapse of I-35W Mississippi River bridge, August 1, 2007
13 killed, 145 injured
Reliability theory: arguments in favor
DETERMINISTIC analysis of
structures, say, Eurocodes
Time-independent
PROBABILISTIC
(reliability-based)
analysis of
error-free structures
Assessment of
DURABILITY OF STRUCTURES
Incorporation of possibility of
HUMAN ERRORS
Consideration of
STRUCTURAL SYSTEM
rather than individual components
Consideration of
ABNORMAL SITUATIONS
(accidental actions)
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Reliability theory: arguments against
The need to study probability calculus and statistics
The need to collect statistical data on structures and actions
(loads)
The need to move outside the safe and customary area
ruled by design codes of practice
Do you know the answer on the question How safe is safe
enough? ?
Why should we be concerned about structural
reliability
Individuals: involuntary of risk due to structural
failures
The risk levels for buildings and bridges are
usually associated with involuntary risk and
are much lower than the risk associated with
voluntary activities (travel, mountain climbing,
deep see fishing)
Why should we be concerned about structural
reliability
Society: failure results in decrease of
confidence in stability and continuity of one's
surroundings
Society is interested in structural reliability
only in the sense that a structural failure with
significant consequences shatters confidence
in the stability and continuity of ones
surroundings
Why should we be concerned about structural
reliability
Engineers: the need to apply novel structures
and novel construction methods generates
interest in safety
Design, construction, and use of new or
particularly hazardous systems should be of
particular interest in their safety (new and
unique bridge, new off-shore structure, NPP,
chemical plant, liquefied gas depot)
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Principal causes of structural failures
Human errors & deliberate actions
Factor of
uncertainty
Accidental actions
(explosions, collisions, etc.)
Accumulation of
damage (ageing)
The main subject of
reliability theory
The need to bridge the gap: how to join quickly?
STUDENTS & PRACTISING
ENGINEERS
ELITE SCIENTICS
GAP
Introduction
Sustainable development related to
conservation of the environment, the
welfare and safety of the people have been
subject to increasing concern of the society
during the last decades.
At the same time optimal allocations of
available natural and financial resources are
considered very important.
Introduction
Therefore methods of risk and reliability
analysis in engineering designs are
developed, which are becoming more and
more important as decision support tools in
civil engineering applications.
The decision process is illustrated in
figure 1.
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Introduction
Figure-1:
Elements of decision making for
engineering structures
Introduction
All engineering facilities such as bridges,
buildings, power plants, dams, machines &
equipment and offshore platforms are all
intended to contribute to the benefit and
quality of life.
Therefore when such facilities are planned
it is important that the benefit of the facility
can be identified considering all phases of
the life of the facility, i.e. including design,
manufacturing, construction, operation and
eventually decommissioning.
Introduction
Benefit has different meanings for different
people in the society, simply because
different people have different preferences.
However, benefit for the society can be
understood as:
economically efficient for a specific purpose
fulfill given requirements with regard to safety
of people directly or indirectly involved with and
exposed to the facility
fulfill given requirements to the effects of the
facility on the community and environment
Introduction
Taking into account these requirements it is
seen that the task of the engineer is to
make decisions or to provide the decision
basis for others such that it may be
ensured that engineering facilities are
established, operated, maintained and
decommissioned in such a way that they
will optimize or enhance the possible
benefits to society and individuals of
society.
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Introduction
For many years it has been assumed in design of
structural systems that all loads and strengths are
deterministic.
The strength of an element was determined in
such a way that it exceeded the load with a certain
margin.
The ratio between the strength and the load was
denoted the safety factor.
This number was considered as a measure of the
reliability of the structure.
In codes of practice for structural systems values
for loads, strengths and safety factors are
prescribed.
Introduction
As described above structural analysis and
design have traditionally been based on
deterministic methods.
However, uncertainties in the loads,
strengths and in the modeling of the
systems require that methods based on
probabilistic techniques in a number of
situations have to be used.
Introduction
A structure is usually required to have a
satisfactory performance in the expected
lifetime, i.e. it is required that it does not
collapse or becomes unsafe and that it
fulfills certain functional requirements.
Generally structural systems have a rather
small probability that they do not function
as intended, see table 1.
Introduction
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Reliability definition
Reliability of structural systems can be
defined as the probability that the structure
under consideration has a proper
performance throughout its lifetime.
Reliability methods are used to estimate the
probability of failure.
The information of the models which the
reliability analyses are based on are
generally not complete.
Reliability definition
Therefore the estimated reliability should
be considered as a nominal measure of the
reliability and not as an absolute number.
However, if the reliability is estimated for a
number of structures using the same level
of information and the same mathematical
models, then useful comparisons can be
made on the reliability level of these
structures.
Reliability definition
Further design of new structures can be
performed by probabilistic methods if
similar models and information are used as
for existing structures which are known to
perform satisfactory.
If probabilistic methods are used to design
structures where no similar existing
structures are known then the designer has
to be very careful and verify the models
used as much as possible.
Reliability definition
The reliability estimated as a measure of the safety
of a structure can be used in a decision (e.g.
design) process.
A lower level of the reliability can be used as a
constraint in an optimal design problem.
The lower level of the reliability can be obtained by
analyzing similar structures designed after current
design practice or it can be determined as the
reliability level giving the largest utility (benefits
costs) when solving a decision problem where all
possible costs and benefits in the expected lifetime
of the structure are taken into account.
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Reliability definition
In order to be able to estimate the reliability using
probabilistic concepts it is necessary to introduce
stochastic variables and/or stochastic
processes/fields and to introduce failure and non-
failure behavior of the structure under
consideration.
Generally the main steps in a reliability analysis are:
1. Select a target reliability level.
2. Identify the significant failure modes of the
structure.
Reliability definition
3. Decompose the failure modes in series systems of
parallel systems of single components (only
needed if the failure modes consist of more than
one component).
4. Formulate failure functions (limit state functions)
corresponding to each component in the failure
modes.
5. Identify the stochastic variables and the
deterministic parameters in the failure functions.
Further specify the distribution types and
statistical parameters for the stochastic variables
and the dependencies between them.

Reliability definition
6. Estimate the reliability of each failure
mode.
7. In a design process change the design if
the reliabilities do not meet the target
reliabilities. In a reliability analysis the
reliability is compared with the target
reliability.
8. Evaluate the reliability result by
performing sensitivity analyses.
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MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment of Structures
(EMM 5023)
Chapter-2
Review of Probability & Statistics,
probability modelling and Decision in
Engineering
The main objective of this lesson is to review the
fundamental concepts of:
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The main objective is to understand:
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MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment: An
Introduction
Chapter-3
Framework of Risk Analysis
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The objectives of this lesson are to
understand the concept of:
(Joint committee on structural safety)
Framework of risk analysis
Risk assessment is used in a number of
situations with the general intention to
indicate that important aspects of
uncertainties, probabilities and/or
frequencies and consequences have been
considered in some way or other.
Decision theory provides a theoretical
framework for such analyses,

Framework of risk analysis
In typical decision problems encountered the
information basis is often not very precise. In
many situations it is necessary to use historical
and historical data.
The available historical information is often not
directly related to the problem considered but to a
somewhat similar situation.
Furthermore, an important part of a risk
assessment is to evaluate the effect of additional
information, risk reducing measures and/or
changes of the considered problem.
Framework of risk analysis
It is therefore necessary that the
framework for the decision analysis can
take these types of information into
account and allow decisions to be updated,
based upon new information. This is
possible if the framework of Bayesian
decision theory is used.


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Framework of risk analysis
A fundamental principle in decision theory is
that optimal decisions must be identified as
those resulting in the highest expected
utility.
In typical engineering applications the utility
may be related to consequences in terms of
costs, fatalities, environmental impact etc.
In these cases the optimal decisions are
those resulting in the lowest expected costs,
the lowest expected number of fatalities and
so on.

Framework of risk analysis
Principal flow diagram of risk assessment
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Implementation of risk analysis
Risk analyses can be presented in a format,
which is almost independent from the
application.
Figure on next slide shows a general
scheme for risk analysis.
Maybe the most important step in the
process of a risk analysis is to identify the
context of the decision problem, i.e. the
relation between the considered
engineering system and/or activity and the
analyst performing the analysis:

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Implementation of risk analysis
1. Who are the decision maker(s) and the
parties with interests in the activity (e.g.
society, client(s), state and organizations).
2. Which matters might have a negative
influence on the impact of the risk analysis
and its results.
3. What might influence the manner in which
the risk analysis is performed (e.g.
political, legal, social, financial and
cultural).

Implementation of risk analysis
Furthermore the important step of setting
the acceptance criteria must be performed.
This includes the specification of the
accepted risks in regard to economic, public
or personnel safety and environmental
criteria.
In setting the acceptable risks which
might be considered a decision problem
itself, due account should be taken to both
international and national regulations in the
considered application area.
Implementation of risk analysis
However, for risk analysis performed for
decision making in the private or
inter-company sphere with no potential
consequences for third parties the criteria
may be established without the
consideration of such regulations.
In these cases the issue of risk acceptance
is reduced to a pure matter of cost or
resource optimization involving the
preferences of the decision maker alone.
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System definition
The system (or the activity) considered has
to be described and all assumptions
regarding the system representation and
idealizations stated.

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Identification of Hazard Scenarios
The next step is to analyze the system with
respect to how the system might fail or
result in other undesirable consequences.
Three steps are usually distinguished in this
analysis, namely:
1. Decomposition of the system into a number
of components and/or sub-systems.
2. Identification of possible states of failure for
the considered system and sub-systems
i.e. the hazards associated with the system.
Identification of Hazard Scenarios
3. Identification of how the hazards might be
realized for the considered system and
subsystems, i.e. the identification of the
scenarios of failure events of components
and subsystems which if they occur will lead
to system failure.
Identification of Hazard Scenarios
A hazard is typically referred to as a failure
event for the considered system or activity.
Occurrence of a hazard is therefore also
referred to as a system failure event.
System failures may thus represent events
such as collapse of a building structure,
flooding of a construction site or explosion in
a road or rail or tunnel.

Identification of Hazard Scenarios
Identification of hazards is concerned about
the identification of all events, which might
have an adverse consequence to
People
Environment
Economy
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Identification of Hazard Scenarios
Different techniques for hazard identification
have developed from various engineering
application
areas such as the chemical, nuclear power
and aeronautical industries. Examples are:
Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis
(FMECA)
Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP)
Risk Screening (Hazid sessions)
Analysis of Consequences
Typical consequences are economic
consequences, loss of life and effects on the
environment.
The estimation of consequences given
failure of the system of sub-systems
requires a good understanding of the
system and its interrelation with its
surroundings and is thus best performed in
collaboration with experts who have hands
on experience with the considered type of
activity.

Analysis of Probability
Evaluation of probabilities of failure for the
individual components and sub-systems
may be based on, in principle, two different
approaches:
failure rates for e.g. electrical and production
systems or
methods for structural reliability for structural
systems as buildings and bridges.
Risk analyses are typically made on the
basis of information, which is subject to
uncertainty.
Analysis of Probability
These uncertainties may be divided in:
inherent or natural variability, e.g. the yield
strength of steel.
modeling uncertainty:
i. uncertainty related to the influence of
parameters not included in the model, or
ii. uncertainty related to the mathematical
model used.
statistical uncertainty.

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Identify Risk Scenarios
When consequences and probabilities are
identified the risk can then be computed.
Hazard scenarios, which dominate the risk
may then be identified.
The risk scenarios can bee ranked in
accordance with the risk contribution.

Analyze Sensitivities
The sensitivity analysis is useful for analysis
of the identified risk scenarios and normally
includes an identification of the most
important factors influencing the risks
associated with the different risk scenarios.
Also the sensitivity analysis may include
studies of what if situations for the
evaluation of the importance of various
system simplifications performed under the
definition of the system.
Risk Treatment
Calculated risks are compared with the
accepted risks initially stated in the risk
acceptance criteria.
Should the risks not be acceptable in
accordance with the specified risk
acceptance criteria there are principally four
different ways to proceed.
Risk Treatment
Risk mitigation:
Risk mitigation is implemented by modification of
the system such that the source of risk is removed.
For example, the risk of fatalities from a ship
collision with a bridge may be mitigated by traffic
lights stopping traffic proceeding onto the bridge
whenever a ship navigates under the bridge.
Risk reduction:
Risk reduction may be implemented by reduction of
the consequences and/or the probability of
occurrence in practice risk reduction is normally
performed by a physical modification of the
considered system.
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Risk Treatment
Risk transfer:
Risk transfer may be performed by e.g.
insurance or other financial arrangements
where a third party takes over the risk.
Risk acceptance:
If the risks do not comply with the risk
acceptance criteria and other approaches
for risk treatment are not effective then risk
acceptance may be an option.

Monitoring and Review
Risk analyses may be performed as already
stated for a number of decision support
purposes.
For many engineering applications such as
cost control during large construction
projects and inspection and maintenance
planning for bridge structures the risk
analysis is a process where there is constant
feed back of information from the system.
Whenever new information is provided the
risk analysis may be updated.
Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA)
Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) is used in
assessment of the risks.
Three calculation methods are:
1. Event Tree Analysis (ETA)
2. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
3. Risk matrix


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Event Tree Analysis
The initial event is usually placed on the left and
branches are drawn to the right, each branch
representing a different sequence of events and
terminating in an outcome.
The main elements of the tree are event definitions
and branch points, or logic vertices.
The initial event is usually expressed as a
frequency (events/year) and the subsequent splits
as probabilities (events/demand), so that the final
outcomes are also expressed as frequencies
(event/year).
Event Tree Analysis
The initial event is usually placed on the left and
branches are drawn to the right, each branch
representing a different sequence of events and
terminating in an outcome.
The main elements of the tree are event definitions
and branch points, or logic vertices.
The initial event is usually expressed as a
frequency (events/year) and the subsequent splits
as probabilities (events/demand), so that the final
outcomes are also expressed as frequencies
(event/year).
Event Tree Analysis
Each branch of the Event Tree represents a
particular scenario.
An example of a simple Event Tree is shown in
figures on next slides
The fire protection is provided by a sprinkler
system.
A detector will either detect the rise in temperature
or it will not.
If the detector succeeds the control box will either
work correctly or it will not - and so on.
There is only one branch in the tree that indicates
that all the subsystems have succeeded:

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Event Tree Analysis Event Tree Analysis
Event Tree Analysis
The results of the Event Tree are outcome event
frequencies (probabilities) per year.
The outcome frequencies may be processed further
to obtain the following results:

Risk to Workforce
Annual Risk
The annual risk may be expressed as
Potential Loss of Life (PLL), where the PLL
expresses the probability of fatalities per
year for all the operation personnel.
As such the PLL is a risk indicator which is
valid for the whole installation, rather than
for an individual. The calculation for a given
event i is of the form:

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Risk to Workforce Risk to Workforce
Risk to Workforce Risk to Workforce
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Risk to Workforce
Individual Risk
The Individual Risk (IR) expresses the probability per
year of fatality for one individual.
It is also termed as Individual Risk Per Annum
(IRPA).
The IR depends on the location of the individual at a
given time and its contents of work.
In practice, for the operating personnel of an
installation an Average Individual Risk, AIR may be
estimated for groups of persons taking into account
the percentage of time of exposure to the hazard per
year.
For all the personnel involved in the annual
operation of the installation, the AIR may be derived
from the PLL

Risk to Workforce
Individual Risk
Risk to Workforce
Fatal Accident Rate
The Fatal Accident Rate (FAR) is defined as the
potential number of fatalities in a group of people
exposed for a specific exposure time to the activity
in question.
Generally, the FAR is expressed as a probability of
fatality per 100 million exposure hours for a given
activity.
It is mainly used for comparing the fatality risk of
activities.
The 100 million exposure hours is to represent the
number of hours at work in 1000 working lifetimes.

Risk to Workforce
Fatal Accident Rate

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Risk to Workforce
Fatal Accident Rate

Risk to Workforce
Fatal Accident Rate

Risk to public
FN curves or F/N plots (generally also called the Cumulative
Frequency Graphs) are probability versus consequence
diagrams where F denotes frequency of a potential event
and N the number of associated fatalities.
A Cumulative Frequency Graph shows the probability of N or
more fatalities occurring.
Such graphs tend to be of interest when the risk acceptance
criterion selected, or, as is more often the case, imposed by
the Regulator, includes an aversion to potential incidents that
would result in, say, more than ten fatalities.
In simple terms, risk aversion exists if society regards a
single accident with 100 fatalities as in some sense worse
than 100 accidents (e.g. road accidents) with a single fatality
each.

Risk to public
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Fault Tree Analysis
Compared to an Event Tree the "Fault Tree"
analysis works in the opposite direction: It is a
"deductive approach, which starts from an effect
and aims at identifying its causes.
Therefore a Fault Tree is used to develop the
causes of an undesirable event.
It starts with the event of interest, the top event,
such as a hazardous event or equipment failure,
and is developed from the top down.

Fault Tree Analysis
The Fault Tree is both a qualitative and a
quantitative technique.
Qualitatively it is used to identify the individual
scenarios (so called paths or cut sets) that lead to
the top (fault) event, while quantitatively it is used
to estimate the probability (frequency) of that
event.
A component of a Fault Tree has one of two binary
states, either in the correct state or in a fault
state.
In other words, the spectrum of states from total
integrity to total failure is reduced to just two
states.

Fault Tree Analysis
The application of a Fault Tree may be
illustrated by considering the probability of
a crash at a road junction and constructing
a tree with AND and OR logic gates (figure
on next slide).
The Tree is constructed by deducing in turn
the preconditions for the top event and
then successively for the next levels of
events, until the basic causes are identified.
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Fault Tree Analysis Qualitative Analysis
By using the property of the Boolean
algebra it is possible first to establish the
combinations of basic (components) failures
which can lead to the top (undesirable)
event when occurring simultaneously.
These combinations are so called "minimal
cut sets" (or "prime impliquant" ) and can
be derived from the logical equation
represented by the Fault Tree.

Qualitative Analysis
Considering the Fault Tree representing figure on
last slide, six scenarios can be extracted:

Qualitative Analysis
These 6 minimal cut sets are in first
approach equivalent. However, a common
cause failure analysis could show, for
example that the "Road too slippery"
increase the probability of "Car at main
road junction" because it is too slippery
from both side.
Therefore the 4
th
cut set is perhaps more
likely than the others.

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Semi-Qualitative Analysis
The second step consists of calculating the
probability of occurrence of each scenario.
By ascribing probabilities to each basic
event we obtain the next figures for our
example:

Semi-Qualitative Analysis
Now it is possible to sort the minimal cut sets in a
more accurate way i.e. into three classes:
One cut set at 10-3, three at 10-4 and two at
10-5.
Of course, it is better to improve the scenarios
with the higher probabilities first if we want to be
efficient.
As by-product of this calculation, the global failure
probability 1.32 10-3 is obtained by a simple sum
of all the individual probabilities.
Semi-Qualitative Analysis
But this simple calculation is a conservative
approximation, which works well when the
probabilities are sufficiently low (in case of
safety, for example).
It is less accurate when the probabilities
increase and it can even exceed 1 when
probabilities are very high.
This is due to cross terms that are
neglected. Therefore, this approach must
be used with care.

Quantification in Fault Tree Analysis
As a Fault Tree represents a logical formula
it is possible to calculate the probability of
the top event by ascribing probabilities to
each basic event, and by applying the
probability calculation rules.
When the events are independent, and
when the probabilities are low it is possible
to roughly estimate the probability of the
output event if an OR gate is the sum of the
probabilities of the events in input.
An example is given in figure on next slide.
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Quantification in Fault Tree Analysis
These simple calculations only work on the basis of
the above hypothesis.
For example, as soon as the Fault Tree contains
repeated events (same events in several location
in the Tree) the independence hypothesis is lost.
Therefore the calculation becomes wrong and even
worse it is impossible to know if the result is
optimistic or pessimistic.
On the other hand, the estimation of the top event
probability is less and less accurate (more and
more conservative) when the probabilities increase
(even if the events are independent).
Risk Matrix
The arrangement of accident probability
and corresponding consequence in a Risk
Matrix may be a suitable expression of risk
in cases where many accidental events are
involved or where single value calculation is
difficult.
As figure on next slide shows the matrix is
separated into three regions,-
unacceptable risk,
further evaluation or attention is required, and
acceptable risk.
Risk Matrix
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Risk Matrix
Further evaluations have to be carried out
for the region between acceptable and
unacceptable risk, to determine whether
further risk reduction is required or more
studies should be performed.
The limit of acceptability is set by defining
the regions in the matrix which represent
unacceptable and acceptable risk.
The Risk Matrix may be used for qualitative
as well as quantitative studies.

Risk Matrix
If probability is classified in broad categories such as
rare and frequent and consequence in small,
medium, large and catastrophic, the results
from a qualitative study may be shown in the Risk
Matrix.
The definition of the categories is particularly
important in case of qualitative use.
The categories and the boxes in the Risk Matrix may
be replaced by continuous variables, implying a full
quantification.
An illustration of this is shown in Figure on next
slide.

Risk Matrix Risk Matrix
The upper tolerability limit (last two figures)
is almost always defined, whereas the lower
limit is related to each individual risk
reducing measure, depending on when the
cost of implementing each measure becomes
unreasonably disproportional to the reduction
of risk.

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Risk Matrix
Examples of the applications of Risk Matrix
are evaluation of:
Risk to safety of personnel for different solutions
such as integrated versus separate quarters
platform;
Risk of operations such as exploration drilling;
Risk of the use of a particular system such as
mechanical pipe handling;
Environmental risk.
Decision trees
Decision trees are used to illustrate decisions and
consequences of decisions.
Further, when probabilities are assigned to
consequences expected costs / utilities of different
alternatives can be determined.
In the next figure an example of a decision tree
where each possible decision and consequence are
systematically identified the example is taken
from.
Two alternative designs for the structural deign of
a building are considered.
Decision trees
Design A is based on a conventional procedure
with a probability of satisfactory performance
equal to 99% and costs $1.5 million.
Design B is a new concepts and will reduce the
costs to $1 million.
The reliability of B is not known, but the engineer
estimates if the assumptions made are correct the
probability of good performance to 0.99, whereas
if the assumptions are wrong then the probability
is only 0.9. He is only 50% sure of the
assumptions.
The cost of unsatisfactory performance is $10
million.

Decision trees
The expected costs of the two alternatives
are:
A: C=0.99 x 1.5 + 0.01 x 11.5 = 1.6
B: C=0.5 x (0.99 x 1.0 + 0.01 x 11.0) +
0.5 x (0.9 x 1.0 + 0.1 x 11.0) = 1.55
According to decision theory the alternative with
the lowest expected costs should be chosen, i.e.
alternative
B should be chosen here.
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Decision trees Decision trees
The decision tree is constructed from left to
right.
Each consequence is associated with
probabilities (summing up to 1) after each
node. For each branch the expected cost
/utility is determined by multiplying
probabilities and costs/utilities for that
branch.
Risk acceptance criteria
Acceptance of risk is basically problem of decision
making, and is inevitably influenced by many factors
such as type of activity, level of loss, economic,
political, and social factors, confidence in risk
estimation, etc.
A risk estimate, in the most simplest form, is
considered acceptable when below the level which
divides the unacceptable from acceptable risks.
For example, an estimate of individual risk per
annum of 10-7 can be considered as negligible
risk; similarly, an estimate of injuries occurring
several times per year, can be considered as
unacceptable.
Risk acceptance criteria
The as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP)
principle is sometimes used in the industry as the
only acceptance principle and sometimes in
addition to other risk acceptance criteria.
The use of the ALARP principle may be interpreted
as satisfying a requirement to keep the risk level
as low as reasonably practicable, provided that the
ALARP evaluations are extensively documented.
The ALARP principle is shown in the next slide.

102
Risk acceptance criteria Risk acceptance criteria
The risk level should be reduced as far as possible in
the interval between acceptable and unacceptable
risk.
The common way to determine what is possible is to
use cost-benefit evaluations as basis for decision on
whether to implement certain risk reducing measures
or not.
The upper tolerability limit is almost always defined,
whereas the lower tolerability limit is sometimes
defined, or not defined.
The lower limit is individual to each individual risk
reducing measure, depending on when the cost of
implementing each measure becomes unreasonably
disproportional to the risk reducing effect.
Risk acceptance criteria
The ALARP principle is normally used for risk
to safety of personnel, environment and
assets.
The value for the upper tolerability limit
derived from accident statistics, for example,
indicate that a risk of death around 1 in
1,000 per annum is the most that is ordinarily
accepted by a substantial group of workers in
any industry in the UK.
Risk acceptance criteria
HSE (Health and Safety Executive),
suggested the upper maximum tolerable risk
level as a line with a slope of 1 through point
n = 500 (number of fatalities), F = 2 x 10-4
(frequency) per year.
This line corresponds to n = 1 at F = 10-1 per
year, and n = 100 at F = 10-3 per year.
However, in the document, HSE quotes that
risk of a single accident causing the death of
50 people or more with the frequency of 5 x
10-3 per year is intolerable.
103
Risk acceptance criteria
For the negligible level, the HSE
recommends a line drawn three decades lower
than the intolerable line.
This line corresponds to one fatality, n = 1, in
one per ten thousand per year, F = 10-4 per
year, and similarly, n = 100 corresponds to
one in a million per year, F = 10-6 per year.
Risk acceptance criteria
Railway transport
For the railway area different railway operators in the
UK has suggested the risk criteria in the following
table.
Failure modes in reliability analysis
Typical failure modes to be considered in a
reliability analysis of a structural system are
yielding, buckling (local and global), fatigue
and excessive deformations.
The failure modes (limit states) are generally
divided in:
Ultimate limit states
Conditional limit states
Serviceability limit states

Ultimate limit states
Ultimate limit states correspond to the
maximum load carrying capacity which can
be related to e.g. formation of a mechanism
in the structure, excessive plasticity, rupture
due to fatigue and instability (buckling).
104
Conditional limit states
Conditional limit states correspond to the
load-carrying capacity if a local part of the
structure has failed. A local failure can be
caused by an accidental action or by fire.
The conditional limit states can be related to
e.g. formation of a mechanism in the
structure, exceeding of the material strength
or instability (buckling).
Serviceability limit states
Serviceability limit states are related to
normal use of the structure, e.g. excessive
deflections, local damage and excessive
vibrations.
The fundamental quantities that characterize
the behaviour of a structure are called the
basic variables and are denoted X = (X1 ,...,
X n ) where n is the number of basic
stochastic variables.
Typical examples of basic variables are
loads, strengths, dimensions and materials.
Serviceability limit states
The basic variables can be dependent or
independent, see below where different
types of uncertainty are discussed.
A stochastic process can be defined as a
random function of time such that for any
given point in time the value of the
stochastic process is a random variable.
Stochastic fields are defined in a similar way
where the time is exchanged with the space.
Uncertainty models
The uncertainty modelled by stochastic variables can
be divided in the following groups:
Physical uncertainty:
or inherent uncertainty is related to the natural
randomness of a quantity, for example the
uncertainty in the yield stress due to production
variability.
Measurement uncertainty:
is the uncertainty caused by imperfect
measurements of for example a geometrical
quantity.
105
Model uncertainty
Model uncertainty is the uncertainty related to
imperfect knowledge or idealizations of the
mathematical models used or uncertainty related to
the choice of probability distribution types for the
stochastic variables.
The above types of uncertainty are usually treated
by the reliability methods which will be described in
the following chapters. Another type of uncertainty
which is not covered by these methods are gross
errors or human errors.
These types of errors can be defined as deviation of
an event or process from acceptable engineering
practice.

MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment of Structures
Chapter-4
Methods of Reliability Assessment
Reliability Assessment
Structural improvements, which are
necessary to support affordable access to
space, are in the materials, joints,
reliability, and the design system process.
Reliability improvement provided the widest
range of benefits with the least committed
resources.
In the next chapters, the problem of
estimating the reliability or equivalently the
probability of failure is considered.
Reliability Assessment
Generally, methods to measure the reliability of a
structure can be divided into four groups:
Level I methods:
The uncertain parameters are modeled by one
characteristic value, as for example in codes based
on the partial coefficients concept.
Level II methods:
The uncertain parameters are modeled by the mean
values and the standard deviations, and by the
correlation coefficients between the stochastic
variables.
The stochastic variables are implicitly assumed to be
normally distributed.
The reliability index method is an example of a level
II method.
106
Reliability Assessment
Level III methods:
The uncertain quantities are modeled by their joint
distribution functions.
The probability of failure is estimated as a measure
of the reliability.
Level IV methods:
In these methods the consequences (cost) of failure
are also taken into account and the risk
(consequence multiplied by the probability of failure)
is used as a measure of the reliability.
In this way different designs can be compared on an
economic basis taking into account uncertainty,
costs and benefits.
Reliability Assessment
If the reliability methods are used in design they
have to be calibrated so that consistent reliability
levels are obtained.
Level I methods can e.g. be calibrated using level II
methods, level II methods can be calibrated using
level III methods, etc.
Several techniques can be used to estimate the
reliability for level II and III methods, e.g.
Simulation techniques:
Samples of the stochastic variables are generated and the
relative number of samples corresponding to failure is used
to estimate the probability of failure.
Reliability Assessment
Simulation techniques:
Samples of the stochastic variables are
generated and the relative number of
samples corresponding to failure is used to
estimate the probability of failure.
The simulation techniques are different in
the way the samples are generated.

Reliability Assessment
FORM techniques:
In First Order Reliability Methods the limit
state function (failure function) is linearized
and the reliability is estimated using level II
or III methods.
FORM techniques for level II methods are
described in this chapter.
107
Reliability Assessment
SORM techniques:
In Second Order Reliability Methods a
quadratic approximation to the failure
function is determined and the probability of
failure for the quadratic failure surface is
estimated.
108
109
110
111
112
113
METHODS OF
STRUCTURAL RELIABILITY THEORY
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
FIRST ORDER RELIABILITY
ILLUSTRATED WITH EXAMPLE
(FROM PERSPECTIVE OFNASA)
125
Introduction of FORM Techniques
Structural improvements, which are
necessary to support affordable access to
space, are in the materials, joints,
reliability, and the design system process.
The first-order reliability method was
developed because it offered the best
approach to surmount deterministic
inherent deficiencies and to accomplish
them within prevailing cultures and
practices.
Introduction of FORM Techniques
It is the simplest, most expedient, and the most
developed and familiar of all reliability methods.
Because first-order reliability is restricted to
normal probability distributions, the proposed
approach of normalizing all skewed distributions
leads to the universal adoption of the first-order
reliability method.
This pragmatic technique of using only the
engaged half of the distribution data to construct a
symmetrical (normal) distribution is seemingly
sound.
Introduction of FORM Techniques
Undue difference between the actual and
the normalized distribution may be treated
similar to other modeling design errors.
Both deterministic and reliability methods
are shown to achieve structural safety by
sizing structural forms or elements through
specified ratios of resistive to applied
stresses.
The deterministic method specifies the ratio
by an arbitrarily selected safety factor.
Introduction of FORM Techniques
The proposed method derives the reliability design
factor from specified reliability criteria.
Both applications are illustrated through a
structural design procedure outlined in figure-1, to
provide an orderly phasing and development
process of statistical data and design parameters,
and to explore their relationship and control over
reliability.
Reliability selection criteria are briefly addressed.
This study has been limited to semi-static
structures that comprise over 60 percent of the
aero-structural weight.
126
Introduction of FORM Techniques
Pertinent excerpts from earlier concept
developments are included for
completeness, and published standard
methods are referenced.
Though lacking eloquence, it is hoped the
visibility of analytical illustrations and depth
of discussions and techniques are sufficient
to provide the structural deterministic
community and the topic novice the
understanding of its application and
motives for improvements.
Introduction of FORM Techniques

Failure Concept
Central to the appreciation of the proposed
universal first-order reliability method is a
fundamental understanding of the failure
concept and its necessary conditions.
All observed and measured phenomena
may be reduced to probability distributions.
When applied stress demand, F
A
, and
resistive stress capability, F
R
, are defined
by probability distributions, failure occurs
when the tails of the two distributions
overlap, as shown in figure-2.
Failure Concept

127
Failure Concept
Their tail-overlap area suggests the
probability that a weak resistive material
will encounter an excessively applied stress
to cause failure.
The probability of failure is reduced as their
tail overlap area decreases by increasing
the difference of the resistive and applied
stress means, m
R
-m
A
, and as their
distribution natural shapes decrease.
Failure Concept
Controlling features
The difference between the applied and resistive-
stress distribution means is the only designer
control (active) parameter of the area of
overlapped tails.
Tail shapes are defined by passive (firm) design
variables which are uniquely fixed by their natural
scatter around their distribution means.
In a given structural form having common material
properties, the resistive-stress distribution shape
may be constant through all regions.
However, local applied-stress distribution shapes
may vary throughout the structure due to local
abrupt changes in geometry, loads, metallurgy,
temperature, etc.
Failure Concept
Controlling features
Therefore, any change in applied-stress
distribution shape without a corresponding change
in the means will change the probability of failure
in that region, resulting in non-uniformly reliable
structures, and worse, unsuspected weak regions.
In engineering applications, these shapes are
modeled by distribution functions to estimate the
probability of a desired value for an assigned range
of distribution.
As shapes become more complex, probability
distribution types and complexities increase, which
prolongs lead time, and intensifies labor, skills,
and training.
Failure Concept
Controlling features
The normal distribution shape is the simplest, best
developed, most known, and expedient.
Its distribution is symmetrical about the mean, and
it is completely characterized by two variables.
As in most engineering applications, only the
distribution side producing the worst-case design
problem is of any interest, as was clearly
demonstrated by the failure concept of figure-2.
Only data from the right half of the applied-stress
distribution (greatest demand) are engaged with
data from only the left side (weakest capability) of
the resistive stress.
Data from the other two disengaged-distribution
halves are irrelevant to the failure concept.
128
Failure Concept
Controlling features
This inherent observation, as well as experience
with related data shapes and the central limit
theory, leads the author to presume that all
probability distributions associated with semi-static
structural loads, stresses, and materials may be
made universally symmetrical by constructing a
mirror image of the engineering engaged side
about the peak frequency value of the distribution.
This constituted symmetrical distribution entitles
its adaptation to all practical normal distribution
techniques and advantages.
The universally normalized distribution is
characterized by two parameters, the mean and
the standard deviation.
Failure Concept
Controlling features
The mean is assumed by:


Failure Concept
Controlling features
The universal transformation of random variables
to normal distributions simplifies a wide range of
structural interfaces, applications, and design
specifications.
Should an inconsistency appear between
normalized and another assumed distribution, the
normalizing approach is pragmatically preferred
and the difference is treated as all other design
modeling errors.
Normal distribution is easiest to learn and simplest
to apply, and it is pivotal to the development of the
universal first order reliability method.

Failure Concept
Tolerance Limit
An extensively practiced feature of normal
distribution by loads, stress, and materials
disciplines is the specification of a design
parameter through the statistical characterization
of the tolerance limit.
Tolerance limits specify the mean and the
probability distribution range on either left or right
side of the mean. It is specified by:
129
Failure Concept
Tolerance Limit
or, in using equation (4), the tolerance limit may
be more conveniently expressed as a product of the
mean value and dimensionless variables,


The designer-controlled N-factor specifies the
probability range, as illustrated on the probability
density distribution in figure-3.
It is sometimes referred to as the tolerance limit
coefficient, but here it is referred to as the
probability range factor.
Failure Concept
Tolerance Limit
The designer-controlled N-factor specifies the probability
range, as illustrated on the probability density distribution in
figure-3.
It is sometimes referred to as the tolerance limit coefficient,
but here it is referred to as the probability range factor.
A probability range factor specified by N = 1, 2, 3, or 4
standard deviations about the mean of a normal distribution is
calculated to capture 68.27, 95.45, 99.86, or 99.73 percent of
the phenomenon population, respectively.
A probability range factor N = 1, 2, 3, or 4 of a one-sided
distribution is calculated to capture 84.13, 97.72, 99.86, or
99.94 percent of the phenomenon population, respectively.
Failure Concept
Tolerance Limit

Failure Concept
Tolerance Limit
A positive deviation specifies the upper tolerance
limit usually associated with demands, and a
negative range factor refers to the weaker side of
the capability.
One standard deviation includes the probability
range to the inflection point of the normal
distribution curve.
While a minimum of 30 samples may provide a
workable mean stress, more than 4 times that
many samples may be required to establish a good
3 standard deviation stress.
As the sample size increases, the natural
probability range factor approaches 2.
130
Illustration Models
The illustration model selected was a simple static
structure conceived to demonstrate the
normalization and characterization of engineering
data and the formatting of the stress form and
sizing required for combining multi-axial stress
components.
The deterministic and first-order reliability methods
are illustrated through analytical models for
maximum visibility, understanding, and
implementation of fundamental features to a
variety of practical design conditions leading to a
robust structural link.
Here robustness is understood as performing well,
reliably, and at least life-cycle costs.
Illustration Models
Configuration
The structural system environments consist of a
tension load, P, at an angle, 0, from the axial
torsional load, T, to be transmitted a distance, L,
to point x = 0.
These requirements establish the envelope size
and operating environments that shape and
optimize load paths to produce a high-performance
structure.
A tapered round shaft, shown in figure-4, provides
the optimum configuration for the specified type
loads, paths, and arrangements.
The single surface, shape, and limited dimensions
simplify production and inspection, all of which
minimize rejects and costs.
Configuration Configuration
The third robust condition is operational reliability
that focuses on determination of the shaft radius,
r. For brevity of presentation, the radius will be
determined only at x = 0.
After determining the scope of the problem, noting
its load paths, and framing the component to
minimize the load influences on structural form
sizing, then the engineering data development and
stress response formulations follow that are
required to determine the radius for a robust
structural link.

131
Illustration Models
Data Development
Imposed tension and torsion environment
data are assumed to be based on a series
of observed measurements reduced into a
frequency distribution, or probability
histograms, as shown in figure-5.
The base of the histogram is bounded by
successive and equal ranges of measured
values, and the heights represent the
number of observations (frequency) in each
range.
Data Development
Data Development
To illustrate the direct normalization of a
skewed distribution, the torque frequency
distribution data of figure-5 are applied to
equations (1) through (4).
Because the greater torque side defines the
worst demand case, only data from the
shaded right side are used in figure-6 to
calculate the normalized distribution
variables.

Data Development
132
Data Development
The materials selection task interfaces with
all structural disciplines, and its result has
the greatest and most lasting effect on
robust design.
All material performance, manufacturing
processes, control points, and their costs
are researched and traded.
The structural analyst's interest at this
interface is the assurance of robust material
performance and a sufficient mechanical
properties data base defined with tolerance
limit variables.
Data Development
Experience or knowledge from previous
similar applications of critical and complex
regions subjected to forging, spinning.
welding, cold shaping, etc., manufacturing
processes are scrutinized for potential
bottlenecks.
Figure-7 shows examples of strength
frequency distributions data assumed for
developing the required capability
properties for dimensioning a structural
component to a specified reliability.
Data Development
Exceeding the yield strength deforms the
part, which may change boundary
conditions and compromise the part's
operation.
Exceeding the ultimate strength by
anomalous loading will fracture the part
thus leading to serious losses.
Data Development
133
Data Development Data Development
Maximum expected loads and minimum
material strengths are specified through the
tolerance limit for specific events such that
any required proportion of their distribution
may be represented in response analyses.
Passive statistical variables that
characterize tolerance limits are listed in
table-1.
Currently, there is no uniform criterion for
specifying the probability range factor
across disciplines and projects.
Data Development
Load disciplines generally select the
probability range factor for specific events
according to their data and experience
base.
Applying the commonly used probability
range factor of N = 3 to the statistical
variables from table 1, the loads tolerance
limits are:

Data Development
134
Data Development
The material probability range factor is
specified by a K-factor.
Because of the inherent randomness in
specimens and testing, the same test
conducted on the same number of
specimens by different experimenters will
result in different means and standard
deviations.
Data Development
To ensure, with a certain percent
confidence, that other portions are
contained in the population, a K-factor is
determined to account for the sample size
and proportion.
Figure-8 provides K-factors for random
variables with 95-percent confidence levels
with three commonly used probabilities in
one-sided normal distributions

Data Development Data Development
The K-factor is designer controlled by the
specification of the number of samples required, as
noted in figure-8.
The K-factor rate increases sharply for all
probabilities using less than 30 samples.
Decreasing the sample size is seen in equation (5)
to decrease the allowed material performance, and
it is compounded when the material coefficient of
variation is large.
For large acreage of structures, trading cost for
increasing the sample size may decrease the cost
of payload delivery.
135
Data Development
Most of NASA's and DOD's material
properties are specified by "A" and "B"
basis.
The "A" basis allows that 99 percent of
materials produced will exceed the specified
value with 95 percent confidence.
The "B" basis allows 90 percent with the
same 95 percent confidence.
Again using statistical variables from table
1 and assuming an A-basis material, the
probability range factor for 32 samples is
K = 3.
Data Development
The material tolerance limit for yield strength is:
Illustration Models
Stress Response Models
The tension and torque loads shown in figure-4
were chosen to illustrate applications of normal
and shear type stresses.
The format required is specifically illustrated to
combine multi-axial stress components into
response models and for calculating their response
combined-mean and standard-deviation values as
required for the reliability method.
The oblique tension load produces axial and
bending loads that induces normal and varying
bending normal and transverse shear loads across
the shaft length.
Stress Response Models
The ratio of length to diameter qualifies it as a long
beam for basic strength of materials formulation.
The round section is an optimum element to sustain
torsional shear.
The local simultaneous maximum stress responses
to bending, tension, and shear occur on the upper
boundary which sizes the structural form.
The normal maximum stress at x = 0 is expressed
by:
136
Stress Response Models
Though unnecessary for some deterministic
problems, the stress response must be
expressed as a product of the random
variable (load) and a stress-form coefficient
for reliability methods.
These correspond to the load and stress-
transformation matrices, respectively, in a
multi-degree-of-freedom dynamic problem:
The normal stress response of equation
(11) is then defined by:

Stress Response Models
Stress Response Models
where L
yz
= T is defined by the tolerance
limit of equation (8), and the stress-form
coefficient from equation (12) is

Stress Response Models
Response equations (13) and (14) predict
the multi-axial component stresses that
must be combined so as not to exceed
material strengths derived from figure-7
statistical data.
Since these material strengths are based on
uniaxial tension tests, the combined normal
and shear applied stress (demand) values
must be compatible and correlational to the
uniaxially test derived strengths
(capabilities)
137
Illustration Models Combined stresses
A commonly used criterion for combining
multi-axial stresses into uniaxial stress is the
minimum strain energy-distortion theory,
which supposes that hydrostatic strain
(change in volume) in a metallic structure
does not cause yielding, but changing shape
(shear) does cause permanent deformation.
This limit of multi-axial stress state is
empirically related to the uniaxial tensile
yielding, and it is reasonably consistent with
experimental observations.
Combined stresses
It is sometimes referred to as Mises failure
criterion 6 and is expressed by

Deterministic Methods
The deterministic method is dominantly used for
sizing structures in the aerospace industry with
mixed justifications.
It is the easiest technique to apply and verify.
It is generally perceived to be conservative, but
the method harbors enough unsuspected
deficiencies that its conservatism may be
contributing to its half-century of success.
It is the preferred method for sizing multi-
component systems having multi-critical regions
per component, and whose combined structural
weight is not payload-performance sensitive.
Deterministic Methods
It is shown to be limited in safety
assessments.
The method's design data, parameters, and
specified probability ranges are
independently developed by loads and
materials disciplines and are provided to
stress analysts to size (non-optimally) and
test structural elements and forms to
standard safety factors.

138
Deterministic Methods
Concept
The deterministic method assumes that a given
structural system safety may be specified by an
arbitrarily selected ratio of single-valued material
minimum strength and maximum applied stress.
That specified ratio is the conventional safety
factor,
Deterministic Methods
Concept
Many safety factor criterion for semi-static
structures is a verified 1.0 ratio on yield and 1.4 on
ultimate strength.
Though resistive and applied stresses are generally
provided and specifically applied as single values,
they are developed by their respective disciplines
with probability ranges specified through tolerance
limits.
Applied-stress components are combined through
the Mises criterion, and the resulting uniaxial stress
is expressed by the tolerance limit of equation (17).
Deterministic Methods
Concept
The minimum resistive stress based on yield
or ultimate stresses is characterized by the
tolerance limits of equations (9) or (10).
Incorporating the resistive- and applied-
stress tolerance limits into equation (18),
the safety factor may be decomposed with
statistical and designer control variables,
Deterministic Methods
Concept
In constructing design parameters from
equation (19) into the failure concept of
figure-2, the deterministic concept emerges
as dividing the difference of the resistive-
and applied-stress means into three distinct
zones, as shown in figure-9.
The sum of these zones,




139
Deterministic Methods
Concept
governs the tail-overlap lengths to satisfy
one condition of the failure concept.
But the method ignores the corresponding
size of the overlap area, which is the second
failure concept condition and, therefore,
cannot predict its combined reliability.
To understand the deterministic failure
governing technique, it should be noted that
each end zone specifies a probability range
to control the tail overlap intercept.
Deterministic Methods
Concept
Deterministic Methods
Concept
Zone l
A
is the probability range of the
combined applied stresses, l
A
= N
A
s
A
,
derived from equation (17).
Zone l
R
is the probability range of the
resistive stress, l
R
= Ks
R
, from equation (9)
or (10).
Both zones independently control the
difference of their means through the
designers arbitrary selection of probability
range factors, N
A
and K.
Deterministic Methods
Concept
The mid-zone l
o
does not explicitly specify
a probability range, but its included safety
factor does effectively increase the
probability range of the applied stress
range factor, N
A
.
When the safety factor is greater than
unity, the combined applied stress effective
probability range factor is extended by:
140
Deterministic Methods
Concept
Specifying a 1.0 safety factor, the effective
range factor is identically the applied-stress
specified probability range factor.
Applying a 1.4 safety factor with NA = 3 will
effectively increase it about three times with
a probability value that can only be
established as being very safe.
On the other end, operating under the
maximum specified environments with a sub-
marginal safety factor will reduce the
applied-stress probability, which increases
the tail overlap and probability of failure.
Deterministic Methods
Concept
Since the applied-stress probability range
factor is related to operational loads, and
because operational loads are verified by
limited field or flight tests at a much later
development phase, this effective
probability range parameter could serve as
another useful index of the unverified load
in a stress audit.
Deterministic Methods
Concept
While the safety factor margin would verify the
pass-or-fail response of the test article, the
effective range factor would predict the total
probability of the applied test load using the test
derived safety factor in equation (20).
The test derived safety factor would further identify
the proportion of the effective range factor verified.
This combination would contribute information for
design acceptance or modification, provided the
coefficient of variation is made available from the
deterministic method.
Deterministic Methods
Concept
In particular, safety factors exceeding unity
will expand the difference of the distribution
means through their inclusion into the mid-
zone and the net extended difference is
expressed by:
141
Deterministic Methods
Application
Two primary applications of the
deterministic method are to size a structural
form to a specified safety factor and to
predict the safety factor of an existing
structural article or design.
A structural element, or form, is sized
through the Mises criterion of equation (15),
which is equated to the maximum allowable
stress criterion of equation (18), which, in
turn, is limited by a specified safety factor.
Deterministic Methods
Application
Prediction of a structural safety factor is the
reverse of sizing and is more direct,
therefore, only the structural form sizing of
the figure-4 configuration needs to be
illustrated.
In sizing a structural form, the deterministic
tension load of equations (7a) and the
stress-form coefficient of equation (13b) are
substituted into equation (13) to give the
deterministic single-value normal-stress
component expressed with the unknown
radius,
Deterministic Methods
Application
Deterministic Methods
Application
Substituting equations (23c), (23d), and SF =1
into equation (18), the radius dimension is solved
by the Newton method to be r = 1.14 inches.
Usually safety criterion requires a structure to be
verified to no less than the specified design safety
factor.
To avoid premature test failure and potential
redesign, an estimated uncertainty factor must be
lumped into equation (18) to compensate for
modeling errors and human assembling
dispersions,
142
Deterministic Methods
Application
Modeling errors include boundary assumptions,
response models, loads, etc.
Estimates may be based on structural complexities
and sensitivities or from knowledge of past test
deficiencies.
Not all uncertainties are equally significant on any
one structure.
Estimating a lump error of 10 percent and using
equation (24), the radius is recalculated to a
minimum requirement of r = 1.19 inches.
Repeating the analysis with the SF = 1.4 on
ultimate strength, the minimum radius required is
r = 1.13, which is less than the yield strength
case, and admits the yield strength condition to be
the worst design case.
Deterministic Methods
Application
The production specifications of the
diameter nominal and tolerances
dimensions are based on sensitivity
analyses and trades to produce a robust
component.
Note that a 10-percent reduction in
allowable stress in the yield strength mode
increased the radius 4.4 percent, which
should increase the weight 9 percent.
A 9-percent weight increase on large
structural forms could be a significant
payload penalty.
Deterministic Methods
Application
These types of sensitivity analyses also
provide a basis for specifying raw materials
acceptance and processing, machining and
heat treatment tolerances, assembly
tolerances, inspection points, etc., and for
trading their life-cycle costs with payload
delivery costs.
Deterministic verification consists of
experimentally validating the structural
response through the specified safety factor
applied to equation (18).
Deterministic Methods
Application
Because the probability of applied loads
varies from project to component, and
because the safety factor is essentially a
hit-or-miss proposition, the safety factor
alone is not an absolute reference of safety.
Verification tests resulting in sub-marginal
safety factors are usually resolved by
intuitive estimates of probability and the
consequence of failure, and by similar
collective experiences with minimum
operational safety factors.
143
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
Perhaps the most detrimental feature in the
deterministic method is its inability to design and
predict the structural reliability over all regions of a
component through a fixed specified safety factor as
commonly assumed.
Because the tail-overlap area of the interacting
applied-stress and resistive-stress distributions is
governed by the difference of their means only, and
recalling from the failure concept conditions that
change in combined applied-stress distribution
shapes,
A
, acting at critical regions cannot be
recognized for local sizing, then a constant safety
factor cannot provide a uniformly reliable structure.
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
Since the probability range factor and the
safety factor are independently specified,
and both simultaneously govern the tail-
overlap through the applied-stress effective
range factor expressed by equation (20), a
stress audit based on safety factor margins
alone is incapable of assessing relative
safety or of necessarily exposing the
weakest structural region.
Relative safety assessment of different
material parts becomes more clouded.
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
A test-verified safety-factor margin may
exceed specification, but combined with a
low probability range factor represented in
equation (20) may result into a sub-
marginally stressed region that may not be
visible to the analyst.
Omission of discipline probability
contributions and the genetic shortcoming
in ignoring local distribution shapes
compounds the fading confidence of some
stress audits to evaluate critical reliabilities
or to identify the weakest links through
safety factor margins.
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
Another weakness in the method is that by
imposing a standard safety factor on all
structural materials, the structural
reliability is dependent on the strength of
selected materials, as expressed by the
mid-zone stress of equation (22).
Holding the safety factor constant and
increasing the resistive stress decreases the
available operational elastic range of high-
performance materials.
144
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
Figure-10 depicts the relative stress
performance of high-strength steel and
aluminum structures using current safety
factors.
Though aluminum and steel specific yield
strengths are relatively the same (lightest
shade), the contingent stress (medium
shade) imposed on steels for anomalous
loads backup is double that of aluminum's,
which inequitably denies elastic stress
(darkest shade) for more operational
performance.
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
Figure-10 further illustrates that a stress
audit indicting a steel structure with a
negative safety margin may have more
reserved operational stress (darkest shade)
than some aluminum structures with
positive margins and negligible denied
elastic stress.
Deterministic Methods
Deficiencies
First Order Reliability Method
Many techniques have been investigated
and others are evolving for providing
reliable structures, but the one that
promises to be most compatible with
prevailing deterministic design techniques
and with the culture of most analysts is the
first-order reliability method.
The first-order reliability method assumes
that applied and resistive stress probability
density functions are normal and
independent and may be combined to form
a third normal expression;
145
First Order Reliability Method
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
In designing to a specified reliability, its related
safety index of equation (25) should be
characterized with design control and passive
variables in common with current deterministic
computational methods to facilitate understanding
and the technical bridging to the reliability method.
The deterministic stress zones in equation (21) and
figure 9 embody these design variables, and their
sum further defines the difference of the applied-
and resistive-stress means in common with the
safety index numerator in equation (25).
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
Standard deviations required by the
denominator are defined by the
deterministic respective zones.
To incorporate these expressions into the
safety index, tolerance limit variables of the
end zones are rearranged and abbreviated
to ease their repeated use.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
Zone l
R
in figure-9 is the probability
contribution of the resistive stress, which is
characterized by tolerance limit equation
(9a), and by which the resistive mean
stress may be expressed as
146
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
At this point, it may be noted that the reliability
method established three criteria over the
deterministic's two, which deserve comparison.
Unlike the deterministic arbitrarily selected safety
factor, the reliability design factor, fSF, is solved
from the reliability criterion, equation (30), to
satisfy a specified reliability, Z.
Similarly to the deterministic method, the
allowable applied-stress criterion, equation (31), is
constrained by the reliability design-factor
criterion.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
As in the deterministic method, the
structure is sized through the Mises
criterion, equation (A1), equated to the
maximum allowed applied stress.
But unlike it, the combined tolerance limit
variables are statistically derived from the
Mises criterion and iterated back into the
reliability criterion.
147
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
As in the deterministic method, the
reliability method basic applications are to
size a structural form to satisfy a specified
reliability, or to determine the reliability of
an existing sized structure.
Structural sizing is an iterative process
which should be initiated by first estimating
the structural size using the deterministic
method.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
This approach would allow sharing common
design Parameters and techniques and
would provide comparison of their final
results.
The estimated size is then substituted into
the stress form coefficients and combined
with loads tolerance limits to define multi-
axial component stresses of equations(13)
and (14).
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
These multi-axial stress components are
combined into a uniaxial stress through the
Mises criterion of equation(A1).
Reducing the tolerance limit stress
components to single values reduces the
resulting uniaxial stress into a worst-on-
worst deterministic single value.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
To derive the statistical tolerance-limit
variables of the uniaxial stress based on the
Mises criterion, and as required by the
reliability criterion of equation (30), the
combined mean, standard deviation, and
tolerance-limit coefficient are computed
through the error propagation law.
148
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
Applying these variables for the estimated
structural size into the reliability criterion,
the reliability design factor is solved for a
specified reliability, and it is imposed on the
maximum allowable applied-stress criterion
of equation (31).
This size iteration process is repeated until
optimized by the disparity coefficient in
equation (31), achieving unity.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
Design variables, controlling the disparity
coefficient that optimizes structural sizing,
are the independently specified probability
range factors N
A
and K applied to the Mises
and reliability criteria.
This is a welcome discovery, in that finally a
compelling requirement for indirectly
coordinating and optimizing multidiscipline
control parameters has been identified by
the reliability criterion.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
Reducing the disparity coefficient increases
structural performance and decreases
payload delivery cost.
This supplemental role of the reliability
criterion to optimize performance should
support and enhance reliability systems
trades with payload costs.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
The Mises criterion was noted to produce
two combined applied stresses, the worst
on worst FA from the deterministic single
values of equation (A1), and the
statistically derived FA tolerance-limit
format of equation (A12) for the same size
structure.
They are related by
and imply that the statistically derived
allowable stress is more efficient by a factor
equal to the disparity coefficient.
149
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
It should be expected that the disparity
coefficient will increase as more multi-axial
stress components with dispersions are
included in the Mises criterion.
Thus, a reliability sized structure should be
optimized by reducing the size to achieve a
disparity coefficient of unity for the
specified safety factor and reliability.
This relationship quantitatively
demonstrates the conservative performance
of the deterministic over the reliability
method.
First Order Reliability Method
Proposed Reliability Concept
To predict the reliability of an existing structure, the
actual size is substituted in the Mises criterion and
processed through the reliability criterion as above.
The disparity coefficient is set to unity in the
reliability criterion, and the reliability is directly
determined.
The first-order reliability method generates a
uniformly reliable structure, and its application
requires no new skilled analysts and no exceptional
understanding and effort over the prevailing
deterministic method.
It must and does provide for the appropriate
implementation of design uncertainties and for the
reliability response verification which follow.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
For simplicity and expediency, design
iteration phases often use mean value data,
and postpone design dispersions that are not
obviously dominant and to which the system
is not sensitive.
Dispersions and uncertainties that are later
estimated to be significant should be
appropriately implemented into the reliability
criterion.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Uncertainties that are frequently neglected,
and that most often cause premature test
failures, are the modeling uncertainties:
loads, stress, metallurgy, and
manufacturing.
The latter three uncertainties are stress
response related and are lump verified as
either exceeding or diminishing the predicted
safety factor.
150
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Modeling errors encroach on normal
probability distributions through the two
normalized statistical variables with different
sensitivities to reliability.
If the error biases the applied stress mean,
ignoring it will in fact increase its mean
stress, decrease the difference of the means,
and thereby increase the distribution tail-
overlap.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
This error may be compensated for by an
accumulative uncertainty factor,



acting on the conventional safety factor. Stress
modeling and boundary conditions are more likely to
bias the mean.
Other examples may be related to dimensional
buildup and final assembly force-fits producing
preloads in operationally critical stress regions.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Modeling manufacturing uncertainties, which
bias the coefficient of variation, are judged
on available data base and related
experiences.
Some estimates may be modeled from
assumed tolerance behavior.
Dynamic loads are dependent on structural
stiffness, which is contingent on material
properties dispersions and on manufacturing
and assembly tolerances.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Contact wear increases tolerances and
reduces stiffness with increasing usage and
must be considered in operational robust
design.
Manufacturing processes are other sources
of uncertainties related to dispersions.
These kinds of uncertainties increase the
applied-stress standard deviation and tail
lengths about the fixed mean, which increase
the tail-overlap.
151
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Standard deviation uncertainties are
combined in conformance with error
propagation laws that follow.
First Order Reliability Method
Design Uncertainties
Verification Appendix
152
Appendix Appendix
Appendix Appendix
153
Appendix Appendix
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
154
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
155
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
156
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Illustrated Applications (Examples)
157
Illustrated Applications (Examples) Reliability selection criteria
Formulations of reliability selection criteria are still
in sparse and sketchy concepts for various
structural failure modes.
Selection criteria concepts being considered for
semi-static structures range from an arbitrarily
agreed upon standard value as fashioned by the
deterministic safety factor to criteria supporting
risk analyses.
In the absences ,of any established selection
criterion, it is interesting to examine briefly the
interaction of these two concepts with the
proposed first-order reliability method.
Reliability selection criteria
An immediate demand for a simple and user-
friendly reliability selection criterion would be
to develop a standard safety index derived
from the reliability criterion of equation (30),
based on a range of design variables
representative of successful deterministic
design and operational experiences.
This approach would not only provide a basis
for safety factor and safety index judgment
and correlation, but it would also promote
designer confidence in the transition.
Reliability selection criteria
A first-cut safety index was bounded with a
small sample of A-basis materials, 3-sigma
probability forcing function dispersions, and
design variables associated with a current
aero-structure.
The resulting minimum reliability exceeded
a value of four-nines on operational stress
limit (yield stress).
158
Reliability selection criteria
Because this limited analysis revealed a critical
sensitivity of the safety index to the reliability
design factor, the structure should be designed to a
reliability of five-nines in order to guarantee four-
nines.
The safety index was also noted to be an order of
magnitude less sensitive to other design variables.
The motive for designing to an arbitrarily selected
reliability over the arbitrarily selected safety factor is
to overcome non-uniform reliability design,
inadequate stress audits, and other deficiencies
discussed above.
Reliability selection criteria
One considered approach to supporting risk
analyses is to calculate the risk cost using
the product of the probability of failure,


and the cost consequence of that structural
failure.
The cost consequence may include cost of
life and property loss, cost of operational and
experiment delays, inventories, etc.
Reliability selection criteria
A suggested criterion for balancing the risk
cost may be to equate some proportion of
the risk cost to the initial and recurring costs
required to provide the structural reliability
to balance the risk cost.
Initial costs would consider the increased
structural sizing to the same reliability used
in the risk through the failure probability of
equation (45).
Reliability selection criteria
Recurring costs include increased propellant,
and the increased payload performance costs
caused by the increased structural sizing and
propellant weights to accommodate the risk
side of the equation.
It would seem that a structural reliability
design method is essential for the
development of a reliability selection
criterion.
159
Reliability selection criteria
Since different failure modes may require
different reliability design methods, reliability
selection criteria should be expected to be
failure mode related.
MSc.
Asset Maintenance and Management
Reliability Assessment of Structures
(EMM 5023)
Chapter 5
Reliability of Structures
Loads and Resistance and Miscellaneous
Topics
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