Reliability analysis: the next step towards recycled aggregates concrete affirmation

João Nuno Pacheco, Jorge Manuel Caliço Lopes de Brito, Carlos Chastre, Luís Evangelista

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter concerns the need to evaluate the reliability of structural elements produced with recycled aggregates concrete (RAC) in order to address some designers’ scepticism towards the use of this eco-friendly material. The current knowledge on RAC’s behaviour demonstrates its viability for structural purposes. However, of the investigations performed so far very few are related to a fundamental aspect towards RAC world-wide application as a structural material: structural codes have a probabilistic basis.
After briefly presenting the state-of-the-art knowledge on the material properties and structural behaviour of RAC, the limitations of the current knowledge are debated. Afterwards, an introduction to structural codification is presented, as well as the fundamentals of reliability analysis. Examples of code verifications are contextualized with their underlying assumptions and the information necessary for code calibration is discussed. The role of reliability in the calibration of structural codes is shown, common techniques for reliability calculations are briefly explained, and relevant references in the area are cited for the readers’ perusal.
Having established how structural codes are calibrated, the state-of-the-art on the probabilistic and statistical knowledge of RAC properties is reviewed. The implications of the very reduced number of studies on this area are discussed and the need to conduct further studies is emphasized.
Afterwards, investigations that used reliability analysis to calibrate partial safety factors applicable to RAC are reviewed. The methodology of each investigation is presented, the experimental tests that led to the definition of the probabilistic information of the RAC’s parameters are described and the need to have a wide range of data coming from different RAC compositions and aggregate sources is debated.
This chapter finishes by contextualizing the current knowledge on RAC properties with the necessary information for code calibration procedures. The relevance of a code proposal towards RAC affirmation as a structural material is highlighted, as well as the requirements of such code. Suggestions for future studies are made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstruction projects: improvement strategies, quality management and potential challenges
EditorsKimberly Hall
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherNova Science Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-1-53610-743-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Recycled aggregates concrete (RAC)
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Sustainable Construction
  • Structural codes
  • Reliability analysis


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