The paper starts by reviewing some of the current concepts in assessing the effects of uncertainty in structural components — particularly those of Monte Carlo simulation methods and stochastic finite element methods. The review is followed by results of Monte Carlo simulations of thin shell components, initially designed deterministically, and of a built-in beam, analysed using both simulation and stochastic methods. Typical examples which are considered are a sphere/cylinder nozzle intersection with elastic and creep loading and a built-in beam with a central load. The results allow the evaluation of the most sensitive parameters and the assessment of their effects on the component response to be made.

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