Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Contribution to the probabilistic analysis of reinforced concrete bridge performance

Abstract : Some agents that are ever present in atmospheric conditions can penetrate concrete structures, which are porous in nature. Among these agents atmospheric carbon dioxide and chlorides that constitute de-icing salts are the usual suspects. These agents result in the corrosion of reinforcing bars, which is the principal reason behind the deterioration of concrete structures. Once initiated, the rate of corrosion increases with time and increasingly dictates the behaviour of these structures throughout their service life. A great deal of uncertainty still remains in this subject as a result of the random nature of the infiltration of these aggressive agents as well as the material and structural properties of reinforced concrete. Consequently, in order to determine the degradation of these structures with time, it is necessary to approach the subject from a probabilistic point of view. Reliability Theory is one of the best available tools due to the fact that it considers the uncertainties involved with the geometrical dimensions of these structures, with the material characteristics and with the environment and the subsequent deterioration that it provokes. As a result, the objective of this PhD thesis involves the development of a probabilistic method that determines the evolution of the loss of structural strength of reinforced concrete road bridges, which are exposed to a wide variety of aggressive environments. By means of studying this degradation, it is possible to estimate the principal stages or phases, which determine structural performance (ie loss of material durability, loss of serviceability and loss of structural safety). This thesis also aims to provide maintenance engineers, after having carried out visual inspections, with the necessary means of assessing and predicting these principal performance phases. Equally, it equips consulting engineers with the essential methods that are required to determine partial safety factors which are best suited to the re-estimation of these deteriorated structures. This thesis consists of five axes. A first axis studies the modelling the performance of reinforced concrete beams under bending effects, the phenomenon of penetration of aggressive agents and the stages of performance. A second axis deals with the uncertainties involved with different variables: sensitivity analyses identify the influence on the reliability index of a wide variety of these variables. A third axis proposes quantitative methods that provide maintenance engineers with the necessary means of predicting the performance phase of a structure following visual inspections. The fourth axis develops a calibration method for the partial safety factors of reinforced concrete structures suffering corrosion. Finally, the fifth axis is dedicated to the re-qualification of the reliability of a structure by means of a conditional probabilistic calculation, which is based on the results of detailed inspections.
Document type :
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Ecole Des Ponts Paristech <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 20, 2004 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Monday, December 20, 2004 - 8:00:00 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 5:48:38 PM


  • HAL Id : pastel-00000956, version 1



Rita de Cassia Silva. Contribution to the probabilistic analysis of reinforced concrete bridge performance. Engineering Sciences [physics]. Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, 2004. English. ⟨pastel-00000956⟩



Record views


Files downloads