Effect of cumulative seismic damage and corrosion on life-cycle cost of reinforced concrete bridges
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Bridge design should take into account not only safety and functionality, but also the cost effectiveness of investments throughout a bridge life-cycle. This work presents a probabilistic approach to compute the life-cycle cost (LCC) of corroding reinforced concrete (RC) bridges in earthquake prone regions. The approach is developed by combining cumulative seismic damage and damage associated to corrosion due to environmental conditions. Cumulative seismic damage is obtained from a low-cycle fatigue analysis. Chloride-induced corrosion of steel reinforcement is computed based on Fick’s second law of diffusion. The proposed methodology accounts for the uncertainties in the ground motion parameters, the distance from source, the seismic demand on the bridge, and the corrosion initiation time. The statistics of the accumulated damage and the cost of repairs throughout the bridge life-cycle are obtained by Monte-Carlo simulation. As an illustration of the proposed approach, the effect of design parameters on the life-cycle cost of an example RC bridge is studied. The results are shown to be valuable in better estimating the condition of existing bridges (i.e., total accumulated damage at any given time) and, therefore, can help schedule inspection and maintenance programs. In addition, by taking into consideration the deterioration process over a bridge life-cycle, it is possible to make an estimate of the optimum design parameters by minimizing, for example, the expected cost throughout the life of the structure.
Cumulative seismic damage
Reinforced concrete bridges
Kumar, Ramesh (2007). Effect of cumulative seismic damage and corrosion on life-cycle cost of reinforced concrete bridges. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from