The use of probabilistic design techniques in high-integrity applications in regulated industries

Brief Description

Modern structural design standards ensure appropriate levels of safety by the use of load factors to provide a margin between expected loads and expected structural capacity. These load factors are established by taking account statistical variation of the loads to achieve a certain target reliability.
Submarines are typically designed based on precedent. In other words, factors used in legacy designs are retained, provided those legacy designs have not exhibited significant problems in service.
This project would investigate the application of reliability methods and probabilistic design to derive the correct load factors for equipment to achieve target reliability and safety performance. These techniques would allow correct load factors to be calculated to ensure that the designs achieve targets (for example, one failure per million sorties).

Scope of the work

The following questions would need to be answered:

  • How is statistical information on the properties of the materials to be determined?
  • What is the expected nature and variability of the loads?
  • What are appropriate acceptance criteria for a design that is qualified by Finite Element Analysis where very large numbers of results are calculated?

Which SEA program would benefit and how? Final outcome and impact (eg TRL increase?)

Would benefit SEA1000, Collins, SEA4000. Expected TRL increase: 2 (from TRL 2 to 4).