Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 818–825 | Cite as

Reliability-Based Structural Design of Concrete Pipes

  • Huu D. Tran
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Concrete pipes are widely used for transferring water in urban infrastructure facilities. The current design standard of concrete pipes in Australia is based on the deterministic indirect-design method. However, there is uncertainty in pipe performance during service life due to assumed design parameters, installation error, changed operational environments, and pipe deterioration. This study aims to assess the reliability of structural performance of concrete pipes at the design stage. The reliability assessment is based on the use of Markov chain theory for modeling pipe deterioration during service life and coefficient of variation for representing uncertainty in design, installation, and operational parameters. The results of a case study show that increasing pipe strength from class 2 as per current design to class 3 as per reliability assessment can significantly reduce the likelihood of structural failure during service life and delay inspection and structural rehabilitation by 10 years. There is a difference in structural deterioration between pipe cohorts, which should be taken into account for reliability-based design.


Concrete pipes Design Reliability Markov model Pipe deterioration 



The author gratefully acknowledges the kind support of Brimbank City Council, especially Dominic Di Martino and Abu Rahman.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical EngineeringRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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