Visual inspection is the primary technique used in most routine inspections; therefore, it is of interest to update the safety and reliability assessment of reinforced concrete (RC) structures in corrosive environments using visual inspection of corrosion damage to the concrete cover. A spatial time-dependent structural reliability analysis is developed to update the deterioration process and evaluate the probabilities of corrosion-induced cover cracking (corrosion damage) and structural failure based on visual inspection information of corrosion damage. The performance of RC beams is used to illustrate the reliability analysis developed in this paper. The visual inspection finding considered herein is the timing, extent, and location of corrosion-induced surface cracking, which is used to provide an updated estimate of structural reliability. It was found that visual inspection finding significantly changes the future reliability predictions, and observations of corrosion damage at critical locations considerably increases failure probability. Failure probabilities are compared with a typical target failure probability to illustrate how visual inspection findings can be used to more accurately assess—and often increase—service-life prediction.
ACI Structural Journal Vol. 107, Issue S66, p. 671-679