System reliability is quantified by the probability that a system performs its intended function in a period of time without failure. System reliability can be predicted if all the limit-state functions of the components of the system are available, and such a prediction is usually time consuming. This work develops a time-dependent system reliability method that is extended from the component time-dependent reliability method using the envelope method and second order reliability method. The proposed method is efficient and is intended for series systems with limit-state functions whose input variables include random variables and time. The component reliability is estimated by the existing second order component reliability method, which produces component reliability indexes. The covariance between component responses are estimated with the first order approximations, which are available from the second order approximations of the component reliability analysis. Then the joint distribution of all the component responses is approximated by a multivariate normal distribution with its mean vector being component reliability indexes and covariance being those between component responses. The proposed method is demonstrated and evaluated by three examples.

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