Old Aswan Dam

by Vladimir Novokshchenov, Consultant; Concrete Clinic International, Wexford, PA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 10, Pg. 77-79

Document Type: Feature article


Egypt's Aswan Dam is almost 100 years old, and engineers performed tests of the masonry, conducting petrographic and chemical analyses. The High and Aswan Dam Authority of Egypt requested the testing. The researchers found some defects such as moderate to severe honeycombing, and some medium to large cavities. These cavities were deemed construction flaws, which made the dam permeable at the outset. Nonetheless, the tests that measured compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, shear strength, tensile strength, specific gravity and water adsorption show that the masonry is in good shape. Detailed descriptions of the tests and the results are given. The researchers drilled 75 mm and 150 mm-diameter bore holes at various elevations to collect cores from which to determine current material properties. Tests also showed that masonry in the first heightening of the dam was denser than is the rest of the dam. This difference may have resulted in differing adsorption and specific gravity, and probably reduced the quality of the masonry compared to the first heightening.

Subject Headings: Dams | Masonry | Compressive strength | Tensile strength | Strength of materials | Shear strength | Material properties

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