The reliability of structural systems operating at high temperature: Replacing engineering judgement with operational experience

M. J. Chevalier, D. J. Smith, D. W. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Deterministic assessments are used to assess the integrity of structural systems operating at high temperature by providing a lower bound lifetime prediction, requiring considerable engineering judgement. However such a result may not satisfy the structural integrity assessment purpose if the results are overly conservative or conversely plant observations (such as failures) could undermine the assessment result if observed before the lower bound lifetime. This paper develops a reliability methodology for high temperature assessments and illustrates the impact and importance of managing the uncertainties within such an analysis. This is done by separating uncertainties into three classifications; aleatory uncertainty, quantifiable epistemic uncertainty and unquantifiable epistemic uncertainty. The result is a reliability model that can predict the behaviour of a structural system based upon plant observations, including failure and survival data. This can be used to reduce the over reliance upon engineering judgement which is prevalent in deterministic assessments. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Epistemic uncertainty
  • Operational experience
  • Creep
  • R5
  • Reliability

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