Time-Dependent Risk Assessment of Structural Deterioration Caused by Reinforcement Corrosion


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Title: Time-Dependent Risk Assessment of Structural Deterioration Caused by Reinforcement Corrosion

Author(s): Chun Qing Li and Robert E. Melchers

Publication: Structural Journal

Volume: 102

Issue: 5

Appears on pages(s): 754-762

Keywords: deterioration; failure; strength

Date: 9/1/2005

Aging and deterioration of physical infrastructure will eventually reduce load-carrying capacity, which necessitates a rigorous assessment of the risk of structural failures due to deterioration. This paper attempts to present a performance-based methodology for deterioration assessment of reinforced concrete structures due to reinforcement corrosion. Models of structural deterioration as measured by strength and serviceability are derived from experimental data so that the time that a deteriorated structure becomes unsafe or unserviceable, and hence requires strengthening or repairs, can be predicted with confidence. Factors that significantly affect structural deterioration are also identified using two sensitivity analysis techniques. A merit of the proposed methodology is that the structural deterioration is directly related to performance criteria used by practitioners. It is found that, under the same service conditions, reinforced concrete flexural members located in marine environments may become unserviceable before becoming unsafe. It is concluded that a time-dependent reliability method can serve as a tool for structural engineers and asset managers to develop a risk-informed and cost-effective strategy in the management of corrosion-affected concrete structures. Timely interventions have the potential to prolong their service life.