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Project Duration: November 2001 - February 2006

Coordinator: Carlos Guedess Soares, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal


A summary of the main research results of the project are reported in:

General Overview

The SAFERELNET Thematic Network was concerned with providing safe and cost-effective solutions for industrial products, systems, facilities and structures across different industrial sectors.

The scope of the Network was the integrated treatment of the important aspects of design, production, operation of industrial products and systems. The main emphasis was on the use of reliability-based methods for the optimal design of products, production facilities, industrial systems and structures from the point of view of balancing the economic aspects associated with providing predefined safety levels, with the associated costs of maintenance and availability. The approaches included modelling the reliability of systems throughout their lifetime so as to be able to study the impact of new maintenance and repair schemes on system safety, life cycle costs, reliability, serviceability and quality. Methods for the assessment of existing structures and equipment have been addressed as well as approaches and criteria for extending the lifetime of products and industrial systems safety and with adequate levels of reliability and availability.

The Network aimed at improving the coherence of the approaches adopted by the different industries to deal with the above-mentioned problems, in particular as concerns RTD and demonstration activities. It assessed the importance and maturity of the technologies being developed and contributed to the technology transfer among sectors.

This Network, which has a duration of four years, is funded by the GROWTH programme of the European Commission with a budget around 2 Million EURO. The Network organised workshops and produced reports and sectorial overviews, which were disseminated in due course.

In addition to its own activities, the Network established links with international organisations as well as with other type of Networks that are active in similar areas.

Contribution of the Institute of Structural Mechanics at Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany

The Institute of Structural Mechanics was responsible, in the role of the Workpackage Leader, for WP6 (Assessment and Life Extension of Existing Structures and Industrial Plants). Furthermore, the Institute of Structural Mechanics mainly contributed to Task 5.4 (Bayesian Reassessment of Structures) and Task 10.4 (Strategy in the Building Sector).

Workpackage 6 - Assessment and Life Extension of Existing Structures and Industrial Plants

Workpackage 6 reviewed and described the theoretical framework for and methods to plan and carry out the cost optimal assessment of existing structures and facilities in consistency with the available information and such that any requirement to the safety of the facility or structure is achieved. An important part of this work package consisted of the assessment and description of how uncertain information may be appropriately modeled as well as how information originating from inspections, measurements, tests and the operational history of the facility or structure may be utilized in order to update this uncertain information. Aspects of acceptability were considered for existing process facilities and structures in co-ordination with the corresponding activities in workpackage 2 and workpackage 5. The work package finally contributes to the framework document on integrated risk assessment.

All these objectives are considered in the main deliverables, prepared by task 6.1 and task 6.2.

Furthermore, three Background Documents are produced.

Task 5.4 - Bayesian Reassessment of Structures

The new developments of structural reliability methods were reviewed, both the computational methods as well as the applications in specific studies and in code calibrations. Philosophy, objective and procedures for code calibration for traditional and new design concepts were treated, as well as probabilistic codes and reliability based design by direct use of first principles. Further safety objective, risk acceptance and target reliability for structural designs were addressed. Methods for reliability of existing structures, especially reliability updating via Bayesian methods, were also reviewed and developed.

This task was concerned about probabilistic modelling of uncertain information in assessment problems. Physical uncertainties, model uncertainties and statistical uncertainties were considered and treated specifically, however, under the same framework. It was assessed and described how additional and or new information and knowledge may be used to update the models and appropriate calculation procedures were identified. Uncertainty updating was assessed and described.

Task 5.4 considers these aspects in the deliverable:

Task 10.4 - Strategy in the Building Sector

The task summarised the state-of-the-art and state-of-practice on the applications of safety and reliability approaches in the Building Sector. The objective was to present the industrial problems and key issues that needed to be addressed by the methodology task groups within Work Packages 2 to 9. A benchmark study was produced as well.

Produced Reports of this task are:


The deliverables and background report of workpackage 6 are given below. Further reports and information are available at the SAFERELNET homepage.

C. Bucher, M. Brehm, and H. Bolt. Framework for assessment and life extension of existing structures and industrial plants, In Safety and Reliability of Industrial Products, Systems and Structures (editor Carlos Guedes Soares), pp. 53-62. , CRC Press, 2010.

C. Bucher, H. Bolt, M. Brehm, I. Craifaleanu, M. Ebert, M. Holicky, V. Just, A. Kowalski, O. Kübler, A. Lannoy, M. Macke, P. Maia, J. Markova, O. T. Vardal, T. Vrouwenvelder, and J. Williams. State-of-the-art report on assessment and life extension of existing structures and industrial plants. Main Deliverable SAF-D6-0-BUW-01(15), SAFERELNET TN Work Package 6, 2006.

C. Bucher, H. Bolt, M. Brehm, I. Craifaleanu, M. H. Faber, I. B. Kroon, and G. Sterritt. Document on future needs in "Assessment and life extension of existing structures and industrial plants". Main Deliverable SAF-D6-0-BUW-02(9), SAFERELNET TN Work Package 6, 2006.

C. Bucher, H. Bolt, M. Brehm, M. H. Faber, S. Gollwitzer, C. G. Soares, J. Sörensen, and T. Vrouwenvelder. Framework document on "Assessment and life extension of existing structures and industrial plants". Main Deliverable SAF-D6-0-BUW-03(14), SAFERELNET TN Work Package 6, 2006.

B6.1 - P. Maia. Condition Monitoring and remaining life assessment approach at the EDP Group. Electricidade de Protugal - CPPE Group. SAF-B6-1-BUW-04. Background Document. Workpackage 6 of SAFERELNET. September 2004.

B6.2 - M. Holicky, J. Markova. Reliability of Primary School. Klokner Institute, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. SAF-B6-1-BUW-05. Background Document. Workpackage 6 of SAFERELNET. September 2004.

B6.3 - D. Lungu, I. Craifaleanu. Seismic Assessment and Retrofitting of Existing Structures in Romania: Background, Programs, Regulatory Basis. National Institute for Building Research - INCERC, Romania. SAF-B6-1-BUW-05. Background Document. Workpackage 6 of SAFERELNET. January 2006. .