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Estimating the Reliability of Engineering Structures

Project Code: 32878


Compare the probability of failure of selected welded structures using two approaches: risk-based assessment and fracture-mechanics-based assessment.

Demonstrate whether/how the two methods can be integrated.

Project Outline

The project aims to develop new capabilities in assessing the reliability of safety-critical welded structures, and to integrate risk-based assessment (‘top-down’) and fracture-mechanics-based assessment (‘bottom-up’). The project will focus initially on a single failure mode (brittle fracture under monotonic loading), both because of its practical importance and because of its amenability to modelling using fracture mechanics techniques, both deterministic and probabilistic. Different types of welded structure will be considered, with particular attention paid to structural redundancy and the role of residual stress.

Relevant Industry Sectors

Oil and Gas; Pipelines; Power Generation; Infrastructure

Technical and Economic Benefits

Improved safety and reduced costs of assessment and inspection will be enabled by: (i) integration of two disparate methods of quantitative reliability assessment, which are currently typically undertaken by different teams; (ii) an understanding of the probability of failure associated with Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) carried out using currently accepted deterministic methods.


None as yet


Research Board Information

Original proposal

2019 Research Committee Report

2019 Research Committee slides


Technical and Economic Benefits

Improved understanding and awareness of the capabilities and applications of friction welding for the additive manufacture of components.

Improved effectiveness and wider application of additive manufacture by friction technologies, leading to reduced material usage, and associated time/cost savings and environmental benefits.

Potential for novel component design and improved component performance via development and optimisation of friction welding techniques.

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