Generalized Engineering Reliability - A Physical Approach
Reliability evaluation plays a central role in various engineering disciplines. However, an in-depth revisiting finds that some of the challenges in the present reliability theory arise from the mathematical model rather than the reliability problem itself. To this end, the concept and philosophy of generalized reliability in engineering, i.e. the physical approach to reliability engineering, aim at altering the direction from overly-simplified mathematical models to reliability engineering.
The ideas include mainly:
- To understand the failure/damage mechanics plays a central role in understanding failure criteria of a structure or system. On this basis, reliability and global reliability could be captured in the process of development of nonlinearity of a structure or system;
- In addition to the traditional phenomenological description, the physical mechanism should be understood to capture the randomness involved in the structure or system. Thereby, physical modeling of engineering dynamic excitations is urgently called for;
- The extension of reliability from engineering structures to engineering systems, e.g. lifeline engineering and infrastructure network, is attached increasing importance;
- Reliability will play an essential role in the applications of advanced structural control and health monitoring techniques to engineering practice to improve the performance of structures or systems.