The Sensitivity of Bridge Safety to Spatial Correlation of Load and Resistance

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Title: The Sensitivity of Bridge Safety to Spatial Correlation of Load and Resistance
Authors: Hajializadeh, Donya
O'Brien, Eugene J.
Stewart, Mark G.
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Date: Feb-2016
Abstract: Random Field theory has emerged in recent years to model the statistical correlation of resistance in concrete structures and to determine its influence on the probability of structural failure. A major shortcoming in the work carried out to date is the spatial variability and corresponding correlation associated with applied traffic loads. In this paper the influence of spatial correlation of both traffic load and resistance is considered in the context of bridge safety assessment. The current study, explores, the nature of the problem by three theoretical examples. As a general trend, examples show that while traffic loads are weakly correlated, load effects are strongly correlated as the same heavy vehicle often causes extremes of load effect in different parts of the bridge which is due to the transverse sharing of load (measured here using a load sharing factor). It is found that the strength of correlation of load effect depends greatly on the load sharing factor which is treated in a simple way in many studies. In a more sophisticated beam-and-slab bridge example, load sharing factors are derived from a finite element analysis to assess transverse load sharing, and are shown to vary by girder number, girder segment and by load location. Despite the fact that load effect at points along the length of a bridge is strongly correlated, the combined influence of correlation in load and resistance on probability of failure is small.
Funding Details: European Commission - Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Structures
Volume: 5
Start page: 23
End page: 34
Copyright (published version): 2016 Elsevier
Keywords: WIMRandom fieldSpatialVariabilityCorrelationAutocorrelationTrafficLoad
DOI: 10.1016/j.istruc.2015.07.002
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

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