Fatigue/Fracture Reliability and Maintainability of Structural Systems: A Method of Analysis

by C. J. Kung, American Bureau of Shipping, New York City, United States,
P. H. Wirsching, American Bureau of Shipping, New York City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability


Fatigue and fracture of structural components are the principal modes of failure for those structural systems that are dominated by tensile dynamic (oscillatory) loads. As the structure deteriorates with growing fatigue cracks, integrity can be ensured by a maintenance program of periodic inspection and repair. Analysis of the process for the purpose of making decisions relative to design and inspection rules is complicated by the fact that the load-producing environment, material properties, and inspection performance all possess significant uncertainty. Reliability methods can be used to manage this uncertainty. Because of the complexity of the problem, simulation is employed. A simulation method, using importance sampling and an equivalent-member model for series structures, is demonstrated to provide efficient solutions.

Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Structural reliability | Structural systems | Dynamic loads | Inspection | Fatigue (material) | System reliability | Materials processing

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