DURABILITY OF STEEL MEMBERS
Nowadays, durability and deterioration of construction can be considered one of the most important issue for the sustainable development of built up environment, considering that more than half of the budget for the development of infrastructure in Europe is for maintenance and modernisation of the existing construction, while less than half is for extension and renewing of it. Focusing on metal structures, it can be recognized that the durability performances of constructions exposed in natural environment are mainly influenced by fatigue and corrosion. With respect to fatigue, several design procedures have been developed in the framework of both scientific literature and normative references. Even at code level, the Eurocode EN 1993-1-9 (2005) gives methods for the assessment of fatigue resistance of steel members, connections and joints subjected to fatigue loading. As it concerns the second point, it is known that atmospheric corrosion has played a significant role in the collapse of important structures and it represents a long term threat to the integrity of metal structures. Indeed, atmospheric corrosion must be considered a relevant maintenance problem to face with and the assessment of the deterioration due to atmospheric corrosion represents a relevant issue for the evaluation of condition of existing steel structures. Beside that, the prediction of durability performances against corrosion is also a crucial point even at the design stage. A structure designed to face with the deterioration that will likely occurs, according to reliable methods which take into account the time dependence of the structural performance over time, result in major costs and resources saving on the long term. Unfortunately, on these topics European codes give only general provisions that cannot be used to prevent the effects of corrosion during lifetime of metal structures. Following the previous consideration, and taking into account the lack of durability design procedures for steel structures in the framework of both the codification and scientific literature, this research line focuses on the development of durability design of metal structures according to quantitative approaches based on the concept of durability limit states.
- COST ACTION C25 “Sustainability of Constructions: Integrated approach to Life-time Structural Engineering”, European Science Foundation, WG3 “Life-cycle Structural Engineering”, 2006-2010