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.THE CONCEPT OF UNCERTAINTY In a general sense.g.g. uncertainty can be interpreted as lack of precise knowledge by the engineer at a time when he/she needs to make a decision. maximum height of a wave impacting a particular offshore structure in 2012) In general. uncertainty can be reduced by increased information. This can include: • Lack of knowledge about something that is fixed but unknown (e. mechanical properties of a particular piece of steel) • Uncertainty in the magnitude of a future event (e.

in the mathematical models for engineering calculations) All these uncertainties must be included in reliability analyses.TYPES OF UNCERTAINTY At least three basic types: • Physical uncertainty (e.g. .g. in parameters of probability distributions) • Model uncertainty (e. natural variability) • Statistical uncertainty (e.g.

wind.g.g. yield strength.PHYSICAL UNCERTAINTY – SOME EXAMPLES • Random time to failure of a sub-sea valve • Extreme pressures/loads on structures (e. in imperfection sensitive structures) • Corrosion rates • Fatigue crack growth rates . wave) • Peak combinations of time-varying loads (e. current) • Material properties (e. wave.g. fracture toughness) • Physical dimensions (esp.


Piper Bravo. 1990 .

Initial surface breaking crack Initial crack depth a no initial crack t Crack growth with time t Crack starting from weld toe Fatigue crack growth with time showing dependence on initial defect size .

1984 .Data from the Hutton Tension leg platform during fabrication.

Monitoring fatigue crack growth in the laboratory .

000 Number of cycles Variation in crack length with number of cycles of applied stress for 68 nominally identical specimens [plotted from Virkler et al (1978) data set] .000 350.000 200.000 300.000 150.000 250.000 100.50 40 Crack length (mm) 30 20 10 0 0 50.

1 E-02 1 E-03 da/dN (mm/cycle) 1 E-04 1 E-05 1 E-06 200 500 1000 K (Nmm-3/2) 2000 3000 Variable fatigue crack growth rate data from a single piece of Grade 50 D steel .

Pf Time (years) Failure by Fatigue and Fracture .

2005 .Damage following hurricane Rita in the Gulf of Mexico .

Variation of concrete slab thickness .for a 150 mm nominal slab .

Data from steel samples taken during the re-construction of steel bridges between King’s Cross and Edinburgh in the 1970s .

TIME-VARYING QUANTITIES (e.g. significant wave height) . wind speed.

V.Mean daily wind speed from M. Famita in early days of North Sea oil and gas development .

Distributions of parent and annual extreme wind speeds for Lerwick .

Synthesis of Availability and Reliability for multiple variables x1 Illustration of random input x3 x2 RESPONSE MODEL Y = h(X) y* OUTPUT DETERMINISTIC CALCULATION MODEL y x4 INPUTS .