A Refined Methodology for Durability-Based Service Life Estimation of Reinforced Concrete Structural Elements Considering Fuzzy and Random Uncertainties


To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: balajiserc1@yahoo.com.


Abstract: A reliable method for service life estimation of the structural element is a prerequisite for service life design. A new methodology for durability-based service life estimation of reinforced concrete flexural elements with respect to chloride-induced corrosion of reinforcement is proposed. The methodology takes into consideration the fuzzy and random uncertainties associated with the variables involved in service life estimation by using a hybrid method combining the vertex method of fuzzy set theory with Monte Carlo simulation technique. It is also shown how to determine the bounds for characteristic value of failure probability from the resulting fuzzy set for failure probability with minimal computational effort. Using the methodology, the bounds for the characteristic value of failure probability for a reinforced concrete T-beam bridge girder has been determined. The service life of the structural element is determined by comparing the upper bound of characteristic value of failure probability with the target failure probability. The methodology will be useful for durability-based service life design and also for making decisions regarding in-service inspections.