Evolution of materials, following the design requirements of special structures, has shifted interest towards development of composite members able to meet strength requirements “tailored” to specific applications. These members can provide appropriate, more cost effective structures, however absence of generic design guidelines raise constraints towards derivation of optimized structures. Reliability-based assessment can overcome this limitation by ensuring that acceptable levels of target reliability are achieved throughout their service life. This paper presents a methodology for reliability assessment of composite members based on appropriate limit state functions derived according to fundamental failure criteria, Tsai-Hill and Tsai-Wu, applicable to composite materials. The methodology that is proposed employs a Stochastic Response Surface Method (SRSM) which combines in discrete steps FEA modelling, numerical simulations and analytical probabilistic assessment techniques, allowing use of commercial and custom developed specialized numerical tools. Application of the proposed methodology on a complex composite structural geometry will illustrate its efficiency and evaluate the reliability performance of the limit states derived and examined.
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