Structural diagnosis of a concrete dam with cracking and high non-recoverable displacements
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Expansions in concrete dams may be caused by chemical or physical sources; however in certain occasions the evidences observed in the dam may not be attributed to a single cause. Mequinenza is an example of a concrete dam affected by expansions and high non-recoverable displacements that cannot be explained by the most frequent pathologies. This paper presents new hypotheses that could justify such behavior by assuming the superposition of a global phenomenon of water induced expansion in concrete in the entire dam and a localized effect consisting in the opening of cracks in the construction joints located in one of the blocks. This is validated by conducting numerical analyses through 2D finite element models that consider the nonlinear behavior of the construction joints and use zero-thickness interface elements to simulate the potential cracking planes in the dam. The results confirmed the diagnosis proposed and the capability of the model to reproduce the behavior of the dam, revealing the significant contribution of the opening of the cracks to the nonrecoverable displacements in the dam.
CitationCampos, A., Lopez, C., Blanco, A., Aguado, A. Structural diagnosis of a concrete dam with cracking and high non-recoverable displacements. "Journal of performance of constructed facilities", Octubre 2016, vol. 30, núm. 5, p. 04016021-1-04016021-12.