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Analysis of structural robustness : characterization of accidental/exceptional events and of their impacts on infrastructures

Abstract : Several examples of structures have been severely damaged, or even reached the total collapse, after the propagation of some local failure, resulting from an accidental or exceptional event. These catastrophic events highlight the importance of the structural design not to be limited to safety under normal conditions, but also to preserve structural integrity under an exceptional event not identified at the design stage. Modern design codes recommend ensuring an appropriate level of robustness to prevent from disproportionate collapse under an exceptional event. One of the major difficulties is to quantify the concept of structural robustness when checking the structural safety under exceptional situations. In this respect, the Eurocodes define the structural robustness as “the ability of a structure to withstand events like fire, explosions, impact or the consequences of human error, without being damaged to an extent disproportionate to the original cause”. To meet such requirements, robustness indicators are essential to assess the capacity of the structure to withstand events, estimate the safety against disproportionate collapse, and finally be used as a decision support for design choices. Several robustness metrics have been recently proposed in the literature. However, despite developments in this field, these methods are still not fully used in engineering practice to effectively assess structural robustness. The main objective of this PhD is to propose an approach to quantify the structural robustness. Progressive collapse is modelled based on an iterative coupling between the yield design approach and a non-linear analysis. Some indices are introduced to measure the structural robustness and be used as a decision support tool. Case studies are considered to illustrate the proposed concepts (study of a large number of scenarios, identification of the most critical ones, and evaluation of the structural capacity to prevent failure propagation)
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Mohammad El Hajj Diab. Analysis of structural robustness : characterization of accidental/exceptional events and of their impacts on infrastructures. Civil Engineering. Université Paris-Est, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019PESC2079⟩. ⟨tel-02900079⟩

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