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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 17, Number 4, April 2016, pages 499-521

Probabilistic-based prediction of lifetime performance of RC bridges subject to maintenance interventions
Hao Tian and Fangyuan Li

    In this paper, a probabilistic- and finite element-based approach to evaluate and predict the lifetime performance of reinforced concrete (RC) bridges undergoing various maintenance actions is proposed with the time-variant system reliability being utilized as a performance indicator. Depending on their structural state during the degradation process, the classical maintenance actions for RC bridges are firstly categorized into four types: Preventive type I, Preventive type II, Strengthening and Replacement. Preventive type I is used to delay the onset of steel corrosion, Preventive type II can suppress the corrosion process of reinforcing steel, Strengthening is the application of various maintenance materials to improve the structural performance and Replacement is performed to restore the individual components or overall structure to their original conditions. The quantitative influence of these maintenance types on structural performance is investigated and the respective analysis modules are written and inputted into the computer program. Accordingly, the time-variant system reliability can be calculated by the use of Monte Carlo simulations and the updated the program. Finally, an existing RC continuous bridge located in Shanghai, China, is used as an illustrative example and the lifetime structural performance with and without each of the maintenance types are discussed. It is felt that the proposed approach can be applied to various RC bridges with different structural configurations, construction methods and environmental conditions.
Key Words
    RC bridges; lifetime performance; degradation process; maintenance actions; time-variant system reliability; finite element;Monte Carlo simulations
Hao Tian: 1Zhejiang Scientific Research Institute of Transport, Hangzhou 310006, China

Fangyuan Li: Department of Bridge Engineering, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

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