Inspection and maintenance of concrete bridges is a major cost factor in transportation infrastructure, and there is significant potential for using information gained during inspection to update predictive models of the performance and reliability of such structures. In this context, this paper presents an approach for assessing and updating the reliability of prestressed concrete bridges subjected to chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion. The system deterioration state is determined based on a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) model that considers the spatial variability of the corrosion process. The overall system reliability is computed by means of a probabilistic structural model coupled with the deterioration model. Inspection data are included in the system reliability calculation through Bayesian updating on the basis of the DBN model. As proof of concept, a software prototype is developed to implement the method presented here. The software prototype is applied to a typical highway bridge and the influence of inspection information on the system deterioration state and the structural reliability is quantified taking into account the spatial correlation of the corrosion process. This work is a step towards developing a software tool that can be used by engineering practitioners to perform reliability assessments of ageing concrete bridges and update their reliability with inspection and monitoring data.
Schneider, R., Fischer, J., Bügler, M., Nowak, M., Thöns, S., Borrmann, A., & Straub, D. (2015). Assessing and updating the reliability of concrete bridges subjected to spatial deterioration - principles and software implementation. Structural Concrete, 16(3), 356-365. https://doi.org/10.1002/suco.201500014