Reliability assessment of aging structures subjected to gradual and shock deteriorations

Cao Wang, Hao Zhang, Quanwang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Civil structures and infrastructure facilities are susceptible to deterioration posed by the effects of natural hazards and aggressive environmental conditions. These factors may increase the risk of service interruption of infrastructures, and should be taken into account when assessing the structural reliability during an infrastructure's service life. Modeling the resistance deterioration process reasonably is the basis for structural reliability analysis. In this paper, a novel model is developed for describing the deterioration of aging structures. The deterioration is a combination of two stochastic processes: the gradual deterioration posed by environmental effects and the shock deterioration caused by severe load attacks. The dependency of the deterioration magnitude on the load intensity is considered. The Gaussian copula function is employed to help construct the joint distribution of correlated random variables. Semi-analytical methods are developed to assess the structural failure time and the number of significant load events (shocks) to failure. Illustrative examples are presented to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model in structural reliability analysis. Parametric studies are performed to investigate the role of deterioration-load correlation in structural reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Civil infrastructure
  • Deterioration model
  • Deterioration-load correlation
  • Gradual deterioration
  • Shock deterioration
  • Structural safety

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