Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    Probabilistic maintenance optimization for fatigue-critical components with constraint in repair access and logistics
    There is a need to consider repair delay and incurred failure risk in maintenance optimization for some fatigue-critical structural details in marine and offshore structures. For example, in some cases, immediate repair may not be feasible due to weather, geographical location and/or technical restrictions. Also, immediate repair may be much more expensive than well-organized delayed repair. Moreover, detected cracks may sometimes be left unattended until more cracks are found and repaired together. This paper investigates a probabilistic maintenance optimization method allowing for repair delay and the incurred failure risk. The maintenance strategy considering repair delay is optimized based on uncertainty modeling, reliability and life-cycle cost analysis. Special features of the maintenance strategy and its impacts on fatigue reliability and life-cycle costs are discussed on an illustrative example. A method to quantify the risk incurred by repair delay is proposed. It is found that repair delay can result in a significant decrease in fatigue reliability if inspection is scheduled in the late stage of service life. The benefits of the maintenance strategy to fatigue reliability and life-cycle costs are very sensitive to the inspection method. The failure risk incurred by repair delay would be the predominant risk in the life cycle.
      197
  • Publication
    TRUSS, a European innovative training network dealing with the challenges of an aging infrastructure network
    Inspections and maintenance of infrastructure are expensive. In some cases, overdue or insufficient maintenance/monitoring can lead to an unacceptable risk of collapse and to a tragic failure as the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy, on 14th August 2018. An accurate assessment of the safety of a structure is a difficult task due to uncertainties associated with the aging and response of the structure, with the operational and environmental loads, and with their interaction. During the period from 2015 to 2019, the project TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety) ITN (Innovative Training Network), funded by the EU H2020 Marie Curie-Skłodowska Action (MSCA) programme, has worked towards improving the structural assessment of buildings, energy, marine, and transport infrastructure. Fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have been recruited to carry out related research on new materials, testing methods, improved and more efficient modelling methods and management strategies, and sensor and algorithm development for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) purposes. This research has been enhanced by an advanced program of scientific and professional training delivered via a collaboration between 6 Universities, 1 research institute and 11 companies from 5 European countries. The high proportion of companies participating in TRUSS ITN has ensured significant industry expertise and has introduced a diverse range of perspectives to the consortium on the activities necessary to do business in the structural safety sector.
      272
  • Publication
    Probabilistic decision basis and objectives for inspection planning and optimization
    (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-31) ; ;
    Marine and offshore engineering has long been challenged with the problem of structural integrity management (SIM) for assets such as ships and offshore platforms due to the harsh marine environments, where cyclic loading and corrosion are persistent threats to structural integrity. SIM for such assets is further complicated by the very large number of welded plates and joints, for which condition surveys by inspections and structural health monitoring become a difficult and expensive task. Structural integrity of such assets is also influenced by uncertainties associated with materials, loading characteristics, fatigue degradation model and inspection method, which have to be accounted for. Therefore, managing these uncertainties and optimizing the inspection and repair activities are relevant to improvements in SIM. This paper addresses probabilistic inspection planning and optimization by comparative analysis for a typical fatigue-prone structural detail based on reliability, life cycle cost (LCC) and value of inspection information (VoI). With the objective of clarifying the differences between the theoretical basis and objectives for probabilistic inspection optimization, three maintenance strategies for the structural detail are proposed and studied. It is found that different optimal inspection times are obtained with the objectives of reliability maximization, LCC minimization and VoI maximization. Also, planned inspection and repair can help to achieve higher reliability with fewer repairs than repair without inspection (i.e. time-based replacement). If the cost of unit inspection and repair is not negligible compared with failure consequence, it is suggested to employ the optimization objective of life cycle cost minimization, which considers the costs of SIM. The paper proposes a simple approach for quantifying the VoI, based on life cycle cost analysis for the three maintenance strategies. It is concluded that the VoI is relevant to both the optimal maintenance decision with and without inspection.
      159
  • Publication
    Probabilistic investigations into the value of information: A comparison of condition-based and time-based maintenance strategies
    Optimal maintenance of marine structures is challenging due to numerous fatigue-prone components, serious failure consequences, high maintenance costs, harsh sea environments, difficult access, and uncertainties in fatigue loading, resistance, and inspection and maintenance activities. Time-based maintenance (TBM) is convenient to implement. However, condition-based maintenance (CBM) is proved to be more cost-effective. This paper assesses the value of information (VoI) by inspections in CBM, compared to TBM, and investigates the conditions for CBM to outperform TBM in terms of fatigue reliability. A probabilistic maintenance optimization method and a life cycle cost analysis framework are established to derive optimal CBM and TBM strategies with the objective of maximizing lifetime reliability and evaluating their life cycle costs. The advantages of CBM, in comparison to TBM, and the VoI depends strongly on the inspection time. The CBM can achieve higher reliability with fewer maintenance costs than the TBM. An illustrative example is provided using the established probabilistic method and framework to support optimal maintenance planning. This example serves as a basis to explain the benefits of CBM to lifetime fatigue reliability and cost reduction, the conditions when CBM is more beneficial than TBM, the conditions for beneficial, ineffective and unbeneficial repair, and the VoI by inspections.
      562Scopus© Citations 36
  • Publication
    Probabilistic maintenance optimization with respect to inspection quality
    Maintenance scheduling and optimization against fatigue failures is of great interest for marine and offshore engineering in terms of safety assurance, integrity management and cost control. The main challenge is to make risk-informed and optimal maintenance decisions taking into account uncertainties associated with material properties, fatigue loads, modelling, inspection and maintenance methods. While optimization of inspection times has been the objectives of many studies, the influence and optimization of inspection qualities is not very clear. This paper has applied probabilistic fracture mechanics and reliability/risk methods to optimization of inspection quality as well as inspection time and revealed the effect of inspection quality on lifetime fatigue reliability. It is found that there is a reliability-based optimum inspection quality for maintenance scheduling, which is different from the cost-based optimum one. Better inspection quality than the optimum one can lead to excessive maintenance, which occurs when the effect of maintenance is not good, and the inspection quality applied is very good. Excessive maintenance can lead to increase of both expected failure costs and maintenance costs, and thus should be avoided.
      164
  • Publication
    On the effectiveness and uncertainty of inspection methods for fatigue crack management
    Non-destructive testing (NDT) methods have been widely used for damage examination and structural maintenance, e.g. detecting and repairing fatigue cracks. In-service inspections help to increase fatigue reliability by providing new information for updating structural failure probability and making decisions on repair. However, these benefits are often compromised by uncertainties associated with inspection methods. Sometimes existing cracks may not be identified, and positive inspection indication may not exist. It is of great interest to consider the influence of inspection uncertainty in maintenance optimization because the benefits and costs of maintenance are affected by inspection decisions (inspection times and methods) which are subjected to inspection uncertainty. However, the influence of inspection uncertainty on maintenance optimization has not been explicitly and adequately covered in the literature. In this paper, the problem has been investigated by probabilistic modelling of the qualities of inspection methods via probability of detection (PoD) functions. A new PoD function has been proposed to characterize the inspection quality when inspection uncertainty is not considered. Optimum inspection decisions are derived with the objective of maximizing lifetime reliability index under two scenarios (considering and not considering inspection uncertainty). The effectiveness of a planned inspection is defined based on the max reliability indexes under the two scenarios. It is shown that the max lifetime reliability index generally decreases when inspection uncertainty is considered. However, inspection uncertainty may have little influence on the lifetime reliability index depending on the planned inspection time. The effectiveness of a planned inspection increases with the decrease of the mean detectable crack size.
      254
  • Publication
    Development of probabilistic fracture mechanics method for fatigue life prediction based on EIFS concept
    A problem with fracture mechanics (FM) based fatigue analysis is that reliable information on initial crack/flaw size is often unavailable. Also, FM method cannot be applied directly to welded joints with relatively small initial flaws and long crack initiation life. This paper proposes a novel probabilistic FM method based on the equivalent initial flaw size (EIFS) concept. The initial crack size is substituted with EIFS to take both the crack initiation and propagation life into account. Three methods are tested to obtain mean value of EIFS: calibrating to S-N curve, Kitagawa-Takahashi (KT) diagram and fitting to test data. The obtained EIFSs are evaluated by comparing the predicted fatigue lives and crack evolutions with S-N curve and test crack evolution data. The suggested procedure is to derive the mean value of EIFS from S-N curve and the coefficient of variation from KT diagram.
      138
  • Publication
    TRUSS, a European Innovative Training Network Dealing with the Challenges of an Aging Infrastructure Network
    Inspections and maintenance of infrastructure are expensive. In some cases, overdue or insufficient maintenance/monitoring can lead to an unacceptable risk of collapse and to a tragic failure as the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy, on 14th August 2018. An accurate assessment of the safety of a structure is a difficult task due to uncertainties associated with the aging and response of the structure, with the operational and environmental loads, and with their interaction. During the period from 2015 to 2019, the project TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety) ITN (Innovative Training Network), funded by the EU H2020 Marie Curie-Skłodowska Action (MSCA) programme, has worked towards improving the structural assessment of buildings, energy, marine, and transport infrastructure. Fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have been recruited to carry out related research on new materials, testing methods, improved and more efficient modelling methods and management strategies, and sensor and algorithm development for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) purposes. This research has been enhanced by an advanced program of scientific and professional training delivered via a collaboration between 6 Universities, 1 research institute and 11 companies from 5 European countries. The high proportion of companies participating in TRUSS ITN has ensured significant industry expertise and has introduced a diverse range of perspectives to the consortium on the activities necessary to do business in the structural safety sector.
      242
  • Publication
    Methodologies for Crack Initiation in Welded Joints Applied to Inspection Planning
    (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2016-11-08) ; ;
    Over the past decades, crack propagation has been extensively studied by researchers around the word. The approach based on crack propagation models have been widely used in inspection planning. This approach has the advantage that it gives measurable fatigue damage accumulation in terms of crack propagation with time and thus crack propagation models can be updated with inspection results. However, a prerequisite for using crack propagation models in inspection planning is that parameters such as initial crack size, crack growth rate, geometry function, etc. are known.  Among those parameters, initial crack size, depending on welding quality, material and the environment, is associated with the most uncertainties because of sampling and measuring problems. Another prerequisite for using crack propagation models in inspection planning is that crack initiation period can be assumed to be negligible. Both prerequisites are challenged nowadays as manufacturing and welding techniques have been improved. Some high-quality welded joins have been proven free from detectable size of flaws and the crack initiation period can account for a large part of the whole fatigue life. This gives rise to big difficulty for inspection planning of high-quality welded joins, as there is no generally acceptable approach for modelling the whole fatigue process that includes crack initiation period. Compared to as-welded joints, reliable inspection planning is more crucial for high-quality welded joins, as they are generally designed to withstand a larger stress range. In addition, they may have shorter time for inspection as crack initiation time account for a large part of fatigue life, with a shorter crack propagation period to failure due to higher stress range. To address this problem for high-quality welded joints, a robust model accounting for the whole fatigue process needs to be developed. The core issue is how the crack initiation period can be modelled and added to the crack propagation time. To help identify this issue, this paper reviews treatment methods for crack initiation period and initial crack size in crack propagation models applied to inspection planning. Generally there are four approaches, by: 1) Neglecting the crack initiation period and fitting a probabilistic distribution for initial crack size based on statistical data, e.g. Weibull distribution or lognormal distribution; 2) Extrapolating the crack propagation stage to a very small fictitious initial crack size, so that the whole fatigue process can be modelled by crack propagation models; 3) Assuming a fixed detectable initial crack size and fitting a probabilistic distribution for crack initiation time based on specimen tests; 4) Modelling the crack initiation and propagation stage separately using small crack growth theories and Paris law or similar models. Conclusion is that in view of trade-off between accuracy and computation efforts, calibration of a small fictitious initial crack size to S-N curves is the most efficient approach.
      571
  • Publication
    Value of inspection in fatigue management of steel structures
    Fatigue cracking is a common problem that needs to be managed in the life cycles of steel structures. Operational inspections and repairs are important means of fatigue crack management. Driven by high relevance in safety control and budget saving, inspection and maintenance planning has been widely studied. However, the value of inspection and repairs has typically not been fully appreciated and quantified rationally before they are implemented. The basic idea of this paper is to address the planning problem with focus on repair other than on inspection. A maintenance strategy without inspection is studied and serves as comparison of a maintenance strategy with inspection. Then the value of repair and the value of inspection relative to repair can be evaluated respectively. An illustrative example is performed on a typical fatigue-prone detail in steel structures.
      157