New Design Criteria for USBR Penstocks

by Harold G. Arthur, (F.ASCE), Assoc. Chief Engr.; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO,
John J. Walker, Supervisory Mech. Engr.; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 129-143

Document Type: Journal Paper


New design criteria for nonembedded and embedded penstocks as adopted by the Bureau of Reclamation are presented. Nonembedded penstocks include supported penstocks exposed to view and penstocks encased in a protective layer of concrete in which the concrete is not considered to contribute structural strength. The embedded penstocks are circular steel liners embedded in mass concrete in which the design load is distributed between the steel shell and the embedding concrete. These criteria are applicable to bends, but are not applicable to bifurcations, trifurcations, lateral branches, or tunnel liners. Use of higher strength steels for penstock installations dictated a reappraisal of allowable design stresses to take proper advantage of the higher yield points and the ultimate tensile strengths of these steels. The criteria consider design loads based on design conditions, methods of stress analysis, quality control of steel plates, quality control of fabrication and erection, and hazard of failure in setting allowable design stresses, methods of stress analysis, and requirements for hydrostatic pressure testing and nondestructive testing of welds.

Subject Headings: Stress analysis | Ultimate strength | Load tests | Failure analysis | Conduits | Structural strength | Linings | Mass concrete

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