A new method for the solution of problems involving material variability is proposed. The material property is modeled as a stochastic process. The method makes use of a convergent orthogonal expansion of the process. The solution process is viewed as an element in the Hilbert space of random functions, in which a sequence of projection operators is identified as the polynomial chaos of consecutive orders. Thus, the solution process is represented by its projections onto the spaces spanned by these polynomials. The proposed method involves a mathematical formulation which is a natural extension of the deterministic finite element concept to the space of random functions. A beam problem and a plate problem are investigated using the new method. The corresponding results are found in good agreement with those obtained through a Monte-Carlo simulation solution of the problems.

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