OPTIMAL DESIGN UNDER UNCERTAINTY OF REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURES USING SYSTEM RELIABILITY APPROACH
The design of reinforced concrete (RC) structures involves several kinds of uncertainties, which are usually considered through the partial safety factors prescribed in the codes of practice. The traditional design optimization of RC structures uses deterministic information of the problem. The partial safety factors are used to consider loading fluctuation and the variability of material properties. The use of these safety factors in deterministic optimization usually leads to over-designing structures, as these safety factors are calibrated for a large class of structures. In the deterministic optimization procedure the reliability cannot be controlled. For this reason, the Reliability-Based Design Optimization (RBDO) is devoted to design economical and reliable structures. However, the RBDO problem involves the evaluation of probabilistic constraints performed by the reliability analysis. The most common RBDO formulations are based on a nested optimization problem, with an outer loop for the design optimization and an inner loop for the reliability analysis. Therefore, an expensive computation effort is required to solve the RBDO problem. In this paper, a new RBDO method of RC structures is proposed. The RBDO problem is decomposed to several cycles of deterministic design optimization (DDO) based on new safety factors called Optimal System Safety Factors (OSSF). At each cycle of the DDO, the system reliability analysis is performed to verify the reliability of the optimal design, the OSSF are computed by a probabilistic method on the basis of the previous system reliability analysis, then the updated OSSF are provided for the next cycle of the DDO. The application to the design of an RC structure shows the interest and the efficiency of the proposed method.
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