# Chapter 36

CHAPTER 36

RELIABILITY OF PLASTIC SLABS1

P. Thoft-Christensen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Abstract
In the paper it is shown how upper and lower bounds for the reliability of plastic slabs
can be determined. For the fundamental case it is shown that optimal bounds of a
deterministic and a stochastic analysis are obtained on the basis of the same failure
mechanisms and the same stress fields.

1. Introduction
Upper and lower bounds of the reliability of plastic slabs can be determined on the
basis of the upper and lower bound theorems of general plasticity. Upper bounds are in
this paper obtained on the basis of a geometrically possible failure mechanism and
lower bounds by considering statically admissible stress fields corresponding to
stresses within or on the yield surface. In the paper it is shown that upper and lower
bounds of the reliability index Ru ( x ) and the reliability R of plastic slabs can easily be
found. It is also shown that the best bounds of the stochastic analysis and of the
corresponding deterministic analysis are obtained for the same failure mechanisms and
the same stress fields in the so-called fundamental case.

2. Upper Bounds
Upper bounds of the reliability of a plastic slab can easily be obtained by using the so-
called yield line theory, see Thoft-Christensen & Pirzada [1]. In the yield line theory a
collapse pattern consisting of straight yield lines is assumed and the external work We
performed by the loads and the internal work Wi dissipated in the yield lines are
calculated.
For simplicity, let the loading and the bending moment capacities be modelled by
1
ICOSSAR 89, San Francisco, USA, 1989.

197

The equilibrium equation in Cartesian coordinates for a slab can be written 198 ... so an upper bound bu ( x ) of the reliability index b ( x ) and an upper bound Ru ( x ) of the reliability R ( x ) can easily be calculated for any admissible set of variables a = ( a1 . Lower Bounds It is generally believed that the optimal upper bounds bu and Ru determined by the method in section 2 are so close to the exact values that they can be used for practical design of slabs. However. In the corresponding deterministic analysis an upper bound pu ( x ) of the load- carrying capacity pu ( x ) (only one load) is obtained for any set of parameters from the work equation Wi ( x ) = We ( x ) (4) and the optimal yield pattern corresponds to the set of x parameters resulting in a minimum value of pu ( x ) It is shown by Thoft-Christensen & Pirzada [1] that the deterministic optimal yield pattern and the corresponding stochastic most significant failure mode (yield pattern) are generally different.F ( .. A convenient safety margin Mu then is M u ( x ) = Wi ( x ) . 3. M pn are fully correlated random variables and the loading is modelled by a single random variable P.. D[ � ] .b ( x ) ) (3) where E [ � ] ..... a10 ) Mu ( x ) � E� � � bu ( x ) = (2) Mu ( x ) � 1/ 2 D� � � Ru ( x ) = 1 .. xk ) defining a set of yield patterns. respectively.We ( x ) m n (1) = �f i ( x ) M pi . M pn and let all remaining parameters such as dimensions be deterministic quantities.. In the fundamental case M p1 .. The proof of this statement is straightforward and is similar to the corresponding proof for lower bounds given in section 4... that good lower bounds bl and Rl for b and R are generally more difficult to obtain.. The safety margin Mu is linear in the normally distributed random variables. The most significant failure mode within a set of failure modes (yield patterns) given by x is then obtained by minimizing bu ( x ) with regard to x .�gi ( x ) Pi i =1 i =1 where fi and gi are deterministic functions of the variable x = ( x1 .. the standard deviation and the one- dimensional distribution function. Chapter 36 normally distributed random variables P1 .. From a theoretical point of view it is more satisfactory to use lower bounds. however... Pn and M p1 . and F are the expected value. The problem is. in the so-called fundamental case the two yield patterns are equal...

. i = 1. see e. As an example the following expression 1 � a b� pl = 8 � 1+ + � mp (8) ab � b a � is obtained for a simply supported isotropic slab with side lengths a and b and bending moment capacity mp.a10 + a 6 ) (7) where the parameters a 3 . i.. to construct safe moment fields of the form mx = a1 + a 2 x + a 3 x 2 my = a 4 + a 5 y + a 6 y 2 (6) mx = a 7 + a 8 x + a 9 y + a10 xy where a = ( a1 .p ( x. In general the equation (7) for the lower bound pl will have the form m pl = �fi ( a ) m pi (9) i =1 where m pi .g. y ) �2 mxy ( x. bl ( a ) with regard to a under the boundary conditions and the yield 199 . i = 1.…. i = 1.. The optimal lower bound within a set of moment fields is then obtained by maximizing e. bl and a10 will depend on the geometry of the slab and the bending moment capacities.g. It is therefore a trivial matter to estimate the lower bounds bl ( a ) and Rl ( a ) as functions of a for the reliability index b and the reliability R of a plastic slab. For such a slab it has been suggested. a10 ) are parameters which are chosen so that the boundary conditions are satisfied in such a way that the moment field is safe.2 + = . A lower bound of the reliability of a plastic slab with the load P and the bending moment capacities m pi . m modelled as normally distributed random variables can be estimated on the basis of the safety margin m M l ( a ) = �fi ( a ) M pi . y ) . In a deterministic analysis a lower bound pl of the load-carrying capacity p can be determined by inserting (6) into (5) pl = -2 ( a 3 . y ) �2 my ( x. see Nielsen [2].. m are deterministic functions. To illustrate how lower bounds of the load-carrying capacity p (the deterministic case) or for b and R (the stochastic case) can be estimated a rectangular slab is considered. The optimal lower bound PI of a given set of moment fields as (6) is obtained by choosing the parameters a so that the maximum of P is determined under the constraints from the boundary conditions and the yield condition. m are bending moment capacities and where fi.P (10) i =1 Note that the safety margin Ml in (10) has the same form as Mu in (1). within or on the yield surface at any point of the slab. y) is a constant p. Nielsen [2]. y ) (5) �x2 �� x y �y2 where mx and my are bending moments.e. Chapter 36 �2 mx ( x. For the sake of simplicity it is assumed that the load p(x.….…. mxy is the torsional moment and p is the load intensity perpendicular to the slab.

a ) (11) where f is a function only depending on a and M p = M p1 . Example Consider a square slab supported at two adjacent edges (see figure 1). Krenk & Lind [3] �bl ( a 0 ) �k ( m*p ) 1 = (12) � ai � a i �k ( m*p . a 0 ) where m p and p * signify the design point and a 0 are the values of a for which bl is * calculated. 5. see Madsen. M pm and the load by a single random variable P.. Lower Bounds for the Fundamental Case Let the bending moment capacities of the plastic slab be modelled by fully correlated random variables M p1 . An interesting question is then whether the optimal lower bounds pl and a are obtained for the same a .. P. The corresponding reliability problem is called the fundamental case.. The external and internal work corresponding to a unit downward displacement of point A is 1 We ( x ) = a (3a .x0 ) p (16) 2 200 . the optimal moment fields are equal. The sensitivity of bl with regard to each of the parameters a i is then determined by. assume that a set of moment fields is defined by a set of parameters a given by (6). 4. p * . It will now be shown that the corresponding deterministic analysis (when all variables are deterministic) has the same optimal moment fields (or a values) as the stochastic case. Chapter 36 condition as constraints. Therefore. Furthermore. An upper bound for the reliability can be obtained by a simple yield pattern given by a single yield line defined by the variable x0 shown in figure 1. The proof is almost identical to the proof for the upper bounds given in Thoft- Christensen & Pirzada [1]. The safety margin M can be written M l = f ( a ) M p ..P = k ( M p . The maximum value of bl is obtained for bl ( a 0 ) � f ( a0 ) � =0 � =0 (13) � ai � ai In the deterministic analysis the lower bound pl for the load-carrying capacity p for the corresponding problem is given by pl ( a ) = f ( a ) m p (14) it is seen that the optimal lower bound obtained by �pl ( a ) =0 (15) �ai results in the same equation (13) as for the stochastic analysis.

55 M p .2 + � (21) �a a a� where a is a parameter. Setting We ( x0 ) = Wi ( x0 ) the deterministic load-carrying capacity p as a function of x0 can be determined. Chapter 36 �a x � Wi ( x ) = � + 0 �mp (17) x �0 a � Figure 1. Square slab supported at two adjacent edges.50 M p .We ( 0.4) and isotropic bending moment capacity Mp ~ N(1.1).26. The minimum value of p is obtained for x0 =0.72a.2 � (19) �a a � �y y 2 � my = 2 a � . By inserting (19) .(21) is then obtained from (22) by inserting a = 3m p / 4 . 0. It can be shown (see Nielsen [3]) that the maximum numerical value of the principal moments is equal to 4a / 3 . 0. A lower bound can be determined on the basis of the moment field given by (see Nielsen [3]) �x x 2 � mx = 2 a � . Uniformly distributed load P ~ N(4. The optimal lower bound for the reliability index can then be calculated from the corresponding safety margin (a = 1) M l = 4. The optimal lower bound pl corresponding to the moment field (19) .(21).(21) into the equilibrium equation (5) the load-bearing capacity pl is obtained as a function of a 1 pl ( a ) = 6a 2 (22) a The boundary conditions are fulfilled by (19) . The corresponding optimal yield pattern gives the optimal upper bound for the reliability index for this set of yield patterns.72 a ) = 5.72 a ) .P (18) and the corresponding reliability index bu = 2. The result is pl = 9mp/2a2. The upper-bound safety margin is M u = Wi ( 0.P (23) 201 .2 � (20) �a a � �x xy y � mxy = a � .

. Conclusions In the paper it is shown that upper and lower bounds can easily be determined on the basis of the upper and lower bound theorems of general plasticity. No 26. Prentice-Hall.1984.26 . P. Spanos). Pirzada: "Upper-Bound Estimate of the Reliability of Plastic Slabs". 7. 6. ASCE. D. P. 98 . 1964. N. [3] Nielsen.83. M.. Chapter 36 The corresponding reliability index is bl = 0. Scand. [2] Nielsen. For the fundamental case where the bending moment capacities are modelled by fully correlated random variables and the load by a single random variable it is shown that optimal (bent) bounds of the stochastic analysis and the corresponding deterministic analysis are obtained for the same yield patterns and moment fields. In Probabilistic Methods in Civil Engineering (editor P.103. Constr. References [1] Thoft-Christensen. Y. & G.: "Limit Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Slabs". Englewood Cliffs. B. Civil Eng. 202 .. Build. pp. Note the big gap between the optimal lower bound PI and the optimal upper bound bu = 2. Acta Polytechn. P. M.: "Limit Analysis and Concrete Plasticity". Inc. Ser. 1988.