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Life cycle cost optimization of reinforced concrete structures

Abstract : Civil engineering structures, particularly reinforced concrete bridges, should be designed and managed to ensure the society needs. It is crucial to assure that these structures function properly and safely as damage during the service life can lead to transport disturbance, catastrophic loss of property, causalities, as well as severe economic, social, and environmental impacts, in addition to long term consequences. Decision-makers adopt various activities to maintain adequate long-term performance and functionality while satisfying financial constraints. Ideally, they may employ optimization techniques to identify the trade-offs between minimizing the life-cycle cost (LCC) and maximizing the expected service life. This requires the development of three challenging chores: life cycle analysis, reliability analysis and structural optimization. The current approaches for the design and management of structures through a Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) highlight the following needs: (1) an integrated and systematic approach to model coherently the deterioration processes, the increasing traffic loads, the aging and the direct and indirect consequences of failure, (2) a mutual consideration of economic, structural and stochastic dependencies between the elements of a structural system, (3) an adequate approach for the deterioration dependencies and load redistribution between the elements, (4) an improvement of system reliability computation as a function of the structural redundancy and configuration that can take into account the dependencies between the elements, (5) a consideration of design and maintenance optimization procedures that focus coherently on the robustness of the management decision and on the satisfaction of reliability requirements.The overall objective of this study is to provide improved LCCA and procedures that can be applied to select optimal and robust design and maintenance decisions regarding new and existing reinforced concrete structures, by minimizing both manager and user costs, while providing the required safety along the structure lifetime, taking into account the most severe degradation processes and the dependencies between structural elements. In the first part of this thesis, a literature review concerning the current probabilistic design and maintenance procedures is presented, and the LCC components are discussed. Then, a new approach is developed to evaluate the user delay costs on a reinforced concrete bridge structure, based on direct and indirect costs related to degradation and failure, and to integrate it to the life cycle cost function, in order to allow for probabilistic design. In addition,the coupled corrosion-fatigue model is considered in the design optimization. Afterward, a structural maintenance planning approach is developed to consider the three types of interactions, namely economic, structural and stochastic dependencies. The proposed model uses fault tree analysis and conditional probabilities to reflect the dependencies in the maintenance planning. The consequences of degradation are evaluated and a method is proposed to account for the load redistribution. Moreover, a practical formulation for quantifying the reliability of a system formed of interrelated components is proposed, by the mean of a redundancy factor that can be computed by finite element analysis. Finally, a new optimization procedure is proposed, by taking into account the uncertainties in the analysis, and the structural ability to adapt to variability, unforeseen actions or deterioration mechanisms. The proposed procedure takes account of uncertainties andvariability in one consistent formulation, which is shown through numerical applications. (...)
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Lara Saad. Life cycle cost optimization of reinforced concrete structures. Civil Engineering. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II; Université Saint-Joseph (Beyrouth). Ecole supérieure d'ingénieurs de Beyrouth, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016CLF22692⟩. ⟨tel-01875270⟩

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