The prediction of ultimate strength and reliability analysis are essential for structural safety and rational design. This paper presents a procedure to estimate the reliability of elasto-plastic beam-columns consisting of base plate and T-bar stiffener under axial compression. The ultimate compressive strength of such beam-columns is calculated by coupling geometrically exact beam theory and nonlinear constitutive law of the material. These equations are discretized using finite difference spatial discretization and solved using an iterative nonlinear solver. The random variables include structural scantlings (width, height and thickness), material properties and initial imperfection. The standard First Order Reliability Method (FORM) is used to calculate the reliability index and probability of failure. A gradient-based optimizer is used to solve the optimization problem of FORM. The sensitivity of the ultimate strength with respect to the random variables is calculated by finite difference and complex step method. Other than assessing the reliability of non-deterministic design, this reliability analysis procedure can also be used for reliability-based structural optimization of such elasto-plastic beam-columns.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.