American Society of Civil Engineers

Life-Time Reliability Profiles for Fatigue and Corrosion

by Andrzej S. Nowak and Maria M. Szerszen, (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125, USA)
Section: TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTIONS, pp. 239-250, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Life-Cycle Cost Analysis and Design of Civil Infrastructure Systems
Abstract: Corrosion and fatigue are important considerations which affect the structural performance of bridges. This applies to structural steel, reinforced concrete, and prestressed concrete. The optimum management of bridges requires the prediction of the remaining life for partially deteriorated structures. Therefore, this paper deals with the development of reliability-based models for time-varying changes in structural performance due to corrosion and fatigue. Fatigue limit state is one of the important considerations in the design of bridges. Accumulated load cycles can cause cracking or even failure. Reliability analysis is performed for the fatigue limit state function of flexure. Prediction of the remaining fatigue life for steel and concrete beams is illustrated on examples of existing bridge girders. Corrosion causes a loss of the section and reduction of the load carrying capacity. Rate of corrosion is a random variable. Three levels of corrosion are considered. Changes in reliability are evaluated as a function of time, covering the life-time of the bridge.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Service life
Structural reliability