Abstract

Reliability-based design (RBD) identifies design variables that maintain reliability at a required level. For many routine component design jobs, RBD may not be practical as it requires nonlinear optimization and specific reliability methods, especially for those design jobs which are performed manually or with a spreadsheet. This work develops a practical approach to reliability-based component design so that the reliability target can be achieved by conducting traditional component design repeatedly using a deterministic safety factor. The new component design is based on the First Order Reliability Method, which iteratively assigns the safety factor during the design process until the reliability requirement is satisfied. In addition to several iterations of deterministic component design, the other additional work is the calculation of the derivatives of the design margin with respect to the random input variables. The proposed method can be used for a wide range of component design applications. For example, if a deterministic component design is performed manually or with a spreadsheet, so is the reliability-based component design. Three examples are used to demonstrate the practicality of the new design method.

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