RELIABILITY-BASED PROBABILITY ANALYSIS FOR
PREDICTING FAILURE OF EARTH BRICK WALL IN
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Ilorin, PMB 1515
Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Reliability evaluation, based on compressive strength, of earth wall with respect to its service life was carried out in this paper. At present, reliability-based design studies for a typical earth wall structure may not consider the effects of cement plaster and mortar joints. The wall components of cement plaster, cement joint mortar and its units were taken into account in the analysis. Fault tree analysis, as in a conventional masonry, has given possible failure combinations for the strawbale wall under vertical loads. Using constant failure rate (CFR), for the wall having strength of 2.06N/mm2 at 28 days old, the service age of 149 years gives a reliability of 0.5. A reliability-based analytical approach, in minimising the expected lifetime cost, is emphasized in this work for an earth walled residential building. The results of the analysis has indicated that plastered earth wall, under compression, has failure probability of 0.77 for its optimum design value.
The need to research into the earth (mud and laterite) material is imperative, as its strength in compression, for a low-rise building, compares favourably with other common wall materials (concrete and sandcrete block, earth, burnt and unburnt brick, to mention a few). An urgent demand for standard, durable and cost-effective building materials suggests that there is the need to look inwards for such materials.
Cement plastered earth, even in its form, is a very reliable material in building construction if necessary expertise is followed. Earth walled structure has many advantages: heat/cold insulation performance, low shrinkage, local availability and its Low-Tech construction. A wall may not perform its intended functions due to structural failure, such as cracks, water penetration, and poor finishes. All these may be attributed to poor workmanship (improper jointing and poor plumbing), lack of adherence to specifications and misuse by over-stressing beyond the stated capacity of the brick wall.
Since the validity of any particular design method rests on the extent to which it can perform, this research intends to: determine how reliable this wall is as a load bearing element is with respect to its failure rate, so as to incorporate the reliability values into design for its service life.
To achieve this objective, earth panel were moulded, masonry prisms specimens were produced in laboratory environment. Units (bricks) were subjected to non-destructive tests, while prisms were crushed to failure and their properties were recorded. Reliability-based design approach for the earth wall under compressive load has been proposed based on the results of the properties obtained from the test. The cost of the wall was minimized.
In research, the term reliability means \u201crepeatability\u201d or \u201cconsistency\u201d. A measure is considered reliable if it would give the same result over and over again assuming that what we are measuring isn\u2019t changing.
Reliability evaluation of a product can include a number of different analyses, depending on the phase of the product life cycle (Okpala and Kotingo 2007). David (2001) described the reliability engineering activity as an ongoing process starting from the conceptual phase of a product life cycle.
Trochim (2006) classified reliability estimators into four types. These are: (i) Inter-Rater reliability and it is used to assess the degree to which different raters give consistent estimates of the same phenomenon, (ii) Test-Retest Reliability in which the consistency of a measure from one time to another is assessed, (iii) Parallel-Forms reliability is the assessment of the consistency of the results of two tests constructed in the same way from the same content domain and (iv) the Internal Consistency reliability used to assess the consistency of results across items within a test.
The brick wall design is usually based upon vertical design loads for a reasonable performance (BS 5628, 1985). A wall may be designed to carry a load of 50kN, and can still carry up to 60kN load, but would not be so reliable to this extent. A balance must therefore be achieved between rating, cost and reliability. Partial redundancy is employed to accomplish the required functions so as to reduce the strength of the wall. For instance, spalling or cracking of plaster may allow severe water or frost penetration into the wall fibre thereby reducing, to an extent, the wall strength. In other word, Test- Retest, which is especially feasible in most experimental and quasi-experimental designs without a treatment control group was embarked upon in this work.
Specimens of cement plastered earth prism were constructed from bricks size: 75mm x 105mm x 205mm. The specimen prisms (having slenderness ratio i.e. height: thickness = 3) were produced from bricks that were joined together, using 1:10 (cement: sand) mix ratio.
Compressive strength tests were carried out at 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days, and the rate of strength gained for the tested specimens were obtained. During the crushing tests by the universal testing machines, a portable ultrasonic non-destructive digital apparatus with an indicating tester was used for testing strength at each section loss due to damage conditions of the wall component and results were recorded. Prisms initial average strength values for 7, 14, 21 and 28 days were obtained as: 1.48, 1.66, 1.89 and 2.06 (N/mm2) respectively. It has been established according to results of tests carried out by the Cement and Concrete Association and reported by Roberts et al (1988) of the minimum influence
that mortar joint has on the strength of wall (Figure 1). The mortar effect was considered only in the assumption of the cost factor of the wall. Since the effect of mortar is taken as mere binder between the panels (Robert et al, 1988), the effect of it in the loss of wall section is negligible and was therefore neglected
Now bringing you back...
Does that email address look wrong? Try again with a different email.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?