ABSTRACT The paper in the introductory part reviews various definitions and interpretations of structural redundancy in mechanics. The study focuses on the general structural redundancy of systems after sequences of component failures followed by possible load redistributions. The second section briefly summarizes the Event Oriented System Analysis and structural redundancy in terms of the conditional probabilistic entropy. Mechanical responses to adverse loads in this approach are represented by random operational and failure events in the lifetime. The general redundancy measure in the third section of the paper employs the information entropy and goes beyond existing formulations since it includes all functional modes in service. The paper continues with a summary of traditional redundancy indices. In addition, it proposes an alternative redundancy index that accounts for the transition to secondary functional level in case of failures of primary components. The example of a ship structure illustrates the usage of the conditional entropy of subsystems of operational events and compares it to the traditional and newly proposed redundancy indices. The study at the end investigates how to enhance the safety of structures by using the redundancy based design.
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