Promise and Challenge of Evaluation of Service Life


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Title: Promise and Challenge of Evaluation of Service Life

Author(s): G. Singh

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 128


Appears on pages(s): 1423-1438

Keywords: cost; durability; evaluation; maintenance; microcomputers; models; probability theory; serviceability; statistical analysis; structures; General

Date: 11/1/1991

A general introduction is followed by justification of the need for and benefits of evaluation of service life of structures. It is argued that, since decisions on the part of promoters and designers are made in the environment of uncertainty, deterministic approaches are misleading. A probabilistic approach, in the form of a combination of Monte Carlo simulation and microcomputers, is recommended for its ability to address the challenge adequately and conveniently. Case studies are used to illustrate the value of the methodology through its ability to evaluate service life and costs, thereby acting as an efficient tool for aiding selection of the efficient alternative from available alternative designs and maintenance policies. The sensitivity analysis, which is an integral part of the methodology and can be applied at both the modelling and the input parameter stages, serves to point out the critical factors or issues involved and should be valuable to practitioners and researchers. An interactive and tolerant program, VENTURER is available, which places the expertise of the probabilistic analysis at the fingertips of the professionals, even if they are not familiar with statistics.