Mace, Brian R., Worden, Keith and Manson, Graeme
Uncertainty in structural dynamics
Journal of Sound and Vibration, 288, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2005.07.014).
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The effects of uncertainty are of growing concern in the design of engineering structures. The fact that the properties of the structure are uncertain implies that there is consequent uncertainty in the dynamic response. Similarly, there is inevitable manufacturing variability: mass-produced items are never identical. Indeed the properties of an individual system will change with time due to environmental conditions, loads, wear, etc.
Uncertainty and variability raise issues concerning safety, reliability, quality of performance, worst-case behaviour and so on, and in turn these issues lead to demands for modelling methods which specifically include uncertainties in the properties of the structure. In the past, factors of safety might be introduced. However, the desire for greater efficiency, improved performance and reduced costs has led to a demand for improved computational methods, especially for high-cost structures. The goal is to apply such methods at the design stage to produce structures which are safe, reliable and have acceptable noise and vibration performance under all environmental and operating conditions which they are expected to encounter, and to produce designs which are robust with respect to manufacturing variability.
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