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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 2, Number 1, February 2005, pages 31-53

A partial factors methodology for structural safety assessment in non-linear analysis
Paula M. R. P. Castro, Raimundo M. Delgado and Jose M. A. Cesar de Sa

    In the present structural codes the safety verification is based on a linear analysis of the structure and the satisfaction of ultimate and serviceability limit states, using a semi-probabilistic security format through the consideration of partial safety factors, which affect the action values and the characteristic values of the material properties. In this context, if a non-linear structural analysis is wanted a difficulty arises, because the global safety coefficient, which could be obtained in a straightforward way from the non-linear analysis, is not directly relatable to the different safety coefficient values usually used for the different materials, as is the case for reinforced concrete structures. The work here presented aims to overcome this difficulty by proposing a methodology that generalises the format of safety verification based on partial safety factors, well established in structural codes within the scope of linear analysis, for cases where non-linear analysis is needed. The methodology preserves the principal assumptions made in the codes as well as a reasonable simplicity in its use, including a realistic definition of the material properties and the structural behaviour, and it is based on the evaluation of a global safety coefficient. Some examples are presented aiming to clarify and synthesise all the options that were taken in the application of the proposed methodology, namely how to transpose the force distributions obtained with a non-linear analysis into design force distributions. One of the most important features of the proposed methodology, the ability for comparing the simplified procedures for second order effects evaluation prescribed in the structural codes, is also presented in a simple and systematic way. The potential of the methodology for the development and assessment of alternative and more accurate procedures to those
Key Words
    structural safety; non-linear analysis; safety factors; assessment of codes; safety verification; second order effects; reinforced concrete frames.
Paula M. R. P. Castro; Faculty of Architecture, Porto University, Rua da Golgota, Porto, PortugalrnRaimundo M. Delgado and Jose M. A. Cesar de Sa; Faculty of Engineering, Porto University, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

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