Thermal-Structural Analysis Methods for RCC Dams

by P. R. Barrett, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
H. Foadian, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
R. J. James, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
Y. R. Rashid, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Roller Compacted Concrete III


Current procedures for evaluating temperature control and the placement of contraction joints in roller compacted concrete dams are not always evaluated with the aid of detailed analysis methods for determining the effects of temperature, aging, creep and shrinkage on the in-place material. However, limits on temperature control are usually specified to avoid excessive shrinkage problems which could cause excessive cracking. Some of these temperature limits may be relaxed with a better understanding of the thermal cooling effects on the completed dam's strength and stability. This paper describes a finite element based analytical technique for evaluating the thermal effects of heat generation, creep and shrinkage on the lift type roller compacted concrete dam construction methods. The analytical method evaluates the thermal response of the dam during the construction process by computing material properties relative to each lift placement date. The analysis technique also computes the temperature distribution at regular intervals throughout the partially constructed dam. The temperature effects are used to evaluate the structural response of the dam under gravity dead loads in combination with the thermal stresses and hydrostatic loads as the dam is tilled. The structural model of the RCC also discretely models the varying material properties of the different lifts. Cracking in the dam is evaluated after each lift, using the mathematical framework of the well established 'smeared' cracking model. Example calculations are provided to demonstrate the analysis methodology.

Subject Headings: Concrete dams | Thermal analysis | Material properties | Finite element method | Construction methods | Construction materials | Temperature effects | Roller-compacted concrete

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