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From quality control to structural reliability: where Bayesian statistics meets risk analysis

R. Caspeele
Ghent University, Department of Structural Engineering, Belgium

Quality inspection plays an important role in the production processes of structural material as well as in design and construction activities, inherently stimulating a higher performance with respect to the investigated activities or properties. In case of the conformity assessment of concrete compressive strength, the concrete strength distribution is filtered due to the rejection or acceptance of certain lots and this filter effect can be quantified using Bayesian updating techniques. A methodology based on numerical integration and Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations is applied to update prior knowledge with respect to the hyperparameters of concrete strength distributions, considering the conformity criteria for concrete strength according to EN206-1. Further, as a consequence of this filter effect, conformity control has a positive influence on the reliability of concrete structures and this effect is quantified here by classical FORM calculations. Finally, also the variance reducing effect of conformity control with respect to structural reliability calculations is quantified, illustrating the reducing vulnerability to parameter uncertainties when performing structural reliability calculations.

Key words: Structural reliability, quality control, conformity control, Bayesian updating, concrete