Redundancy of Multistate Structural Systems

by Michel Ghosn, City Coll, City Univ of New York, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Safety and Reliability


In the theory of structural reliability it is often assumed that the system and its members can have two performance or damage levels ie. they can either be functioning or failed. It is generally accepted that increasing the number of components in a system will automatically increase the reliability of such two-state systems. This conclusion was observed not to be always correct when a system is formed of elements that can have more than two damage states. In this paper, the bounds on the performance of structural systems developed by Block and Savits are reviewed and the results for several simple examples are presented in terms of a damage index and an associated performance index. The results indicate that the performance of multistate systems is highly dependent on the structure function that gives the relationship between the damage of the elements and the damage of the structure. The results also confirm that the performance of multistate structural systems do not necessarily improve as the number of elements in the system is increased.

Subject Headings: Structural systems | Structural reliability | Structural analysis | Damage (structural) | Automation | System reliability | Structural members

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