AbstractThis paper presents a framework for time-variant system reliability analysis of concrete sewer pipes considering multiple modes of failure. Sewer pipelines are among critical infrastructure systems, designed to collect and transport wastewater away from communities. Such pipes are typically subjected to corrosion and subsequent damage because of continuous contact with corrosive materials. Corrosion is here modeled in terms of the reduction in the pipe wall thickness. In the proposed framework, prevailing uncertainties in the characteristics of wastewater fluid, geometric properties of fluid cross section, and corrosion-related parameters of concrete are quantified as random variables. Next, various modes of failure under bending, shear, excessive cracking, and cover loss are formulated as multiple limit-state functions. This leads to a general system reliability problem defined as a series system of parallel subsystems, i.e., cut sets. Further, by introducing the corrosion model into the limit-state functions, a time-variant system reliability problem is established in which the integration domain is conditioned to the corrosion level at each point in time. By integrating over the conditional probabilities through a rejection sampling method, the failure probability is computed given the corrosion level over the desired time span. The results show that the failure probability increases sharply with time and corrosion level. For instance, the failure probability exceeds 80% for pipes over 50 years and at corrosion levels of over 40%. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis shows that the acid-consumption capacity of the pipe material, the pH-related factor, and the proportion of S2− dissolved highly influence the failure probability. The maximum effects of these parameters occur within 0%–10% corrosion. The results of this study can be used to evaluate the failure probability of sewer pipes given their age and current corrosion level.

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