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Structural Engineering and Mechanics   Volume 22, Number 6, April20 2006, pages 665-683
Fuzzy reliability analysis of laminated composites
Jianqiao Chen, Junhong Wei and Yurong Xu

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    The strength behaviors of Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) Composites can be greatly influenced by the properties of constitutive materials, the laminate structures, and load conditions etc, accompanied by many uncertainty factors. So the reliability study on FRP is an important subject of research. Many achievements have been made in reliability studies based on the probability theory, but little has been done on the roles played by fuzzy variables. In this paper, a fuzzy reliability model for FRP laminates is established first, in which the loads are considered as random variables and the strengths as fuzzy variables. Then a numerical model is developed to assess the fuzzy reliability. The Monte Carlo simulation method is utilized to compute the reliability of laminas under the maximum stress criterion. In the second part of this paper, a generalized fuzzy reliability model (GFRM) is proposed. By virtue of the fact that there may exist a series of states between the failure state and the function state, a fuzzy assumption for the structure state together with the probabilistic assumption for strength parameters is adopted to construct the GFRM of composite materials. By defining a generalized limit state function, the problem is converted to the conventional reliability formula that enables the first-order reliability method (FORM) applicable in calculating the reliability index. Several examples are worked out to show the validity of the models and the efficiency of the methods proposed in this paper. The parameter sensitivity analysis shows that some of the mean values of the strength parameters have great influence on the laminated composites?reliability. The differences resulting from the application of different failure criteria and different fuzzy assumptions are also discussed. It is concluded that the GFRM is feasible to use, and can provide an effective and synthetic method to evaluate the reliability of a system with different types of uncertainty factors.
Key Words
    laminated composites; fuzzy reliability; Monte Carlo simulation; generalized limit state function.
Department of Mechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China

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