THE MODELLING AND REPRESENTATION OF UNCERTAINTY

mechanical properties of a particular piece of steel) • Uncertainty in the magnitude of a future event (e. . uncertainty can be interpreted as lack of precise knowledge by the engineer at a time when he/she needs to make a decision.THE CONCEPT OF UNCERTAINTY In a general sense. This can include: • Lack of knowledge about something that is fixed but unknown (e.g. maximum height of a wave impacting a particular offshore structure in 2012) In general. uncertainty can be reduced by increased information.g.

in the mathematical models for engineering calculations) All these uncertainties must be included in reliability analyses.TYPES OF UNCERTAINTY At least three basic types: • Physical uncertainty (e. natural variability) • Statistical uncertainty (e. in parameters of probability distributions) • Model uncertainty (e. .g.g.g.

wave) • Peak combinations of time-varying loads (e. in imperfection sensitive structures) • Corrosion rates • Fatigue crack growth rates .g. current) • Material properties (e.PHYSICAL UNCERTAINTY – SOME EXAMPLES • Random time to failure of a sub-sea valve • Extreme pressures/loads on structures (e.g.wind. fracture toughness) • Physical dimensions (esp. yield strength. wave.g.

PHYSICAL UNCERTAINTY – SOME EXAMPLES .

Piper Bravo. 1990 .

Initial surface breaking crack Initial crack depth a no initial crack t Crack growth with time t Crack starting from weld toe Fatigue crack growth with time showing dependence on initial defect size .

1984 .Data from the Hutton Tension leg platform during fabrication.

Monitoring fatigue crack growth in the laboratory .

50 40 Crack length (mm) 30 20 10 0 0 50.000 Number of cycles Variation in crack length with number of cycles of applied stress for 68 nominally identical specimens [plotted from Virkler et al (1978) data set] .000 350.000 250.000 300.000 200.000 100.000 150.

1 E-02 1 E-03 da/dN (mm/cycle) 1 E-04 1 E-05 1 E-06 200 500 1000 K (Nmm-3/2) 2000 3000 Variable fatigue crack growth rate data from a single piece of Grade 50 D steel .

Pf Time (years) Failure by Fatigue and Fracture .

2005 .Damage following hurricane Rita in the Gulf of Mexico .

for a 150 mm nominal slab .Variation of concrete slab thickness .

Data from steel samples taken during the re-construction of steel bridges between King’s Cross and Edinburgh in the 1970s .

g. significant wave height) . wind speed.TIME-VARYING QUANTITIES (e.

Famita in early days of North Sea oil and gas development .V.Mean daily wind speed from M.

Distributions of parent and annual extreme wind speeds for Lerwick .

Synthesis of Availability and Reliability for multiple variables x1 Illustration of random input x3 x2 RESPONSE MODEL Y = h(X) y* OUTPUT DETERMINISTIC CALCULATION MODEL y x4 INPUTS .

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