Extending the Service Life of Structures Through Durability EngineeringJacques Marchand, Ph.D, P.E. | President, SIMCO Technologies
Durability Engineering and Service Life Modeling for the Optimum Management of Reinforced Concrete Structures in the Middle East
Past experience demonstrates that application of “run-to-failure” philosophy for management of concrete infrastructure does not only increase the risk of premature failure, but also results in significant cost over-runs. A new bottom-up approach for pro-active management of concrete structures will be presented. This innovative protocol combines non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques with durability engineering and probabilistic modeling of the degradation of materials. This methodology rests on a detailed characterization of in-place concrete, and on comprehensive analysis of the deterioration phenomena affecting the material. The residual service life of the structure is predicted considering fluctuations of local environmental conditions affecting each critical structural element, as well as the variability of in-situ materials.
Outcomes of the analysis provide key information on the evolution of damage that can be readily integrated in an evaluation of the reliability of the structure. The life-cycle cost of the structure is optimized by clearly defining deterioration threshold values for each critical element of the structure and by considering different maintenance and repair options.