Richard Herweynen, Robert Montalvo, John Ager
The choice of materials used in the construction of a dam is one of the most critical decisions in the design process. Our natural behaviour as engineers is to adopt materials which have proven performance, and which conform to Australian or international standards, which sometimes causes us to overlook the specific conditions and demands of the project at hand. In an environment where the majority of concrete produced is for structural purposes, the properties of these concretes is often vastly different to those desired for mass concrete structures such as dams and spillways.
The big question at Wyaralong Dam was could onsite aggregate be used in the Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC)? The Wyaralong Dam is located in the Gatton Sandstone (early Jurassic), predominantly feldspathic to lithic‐feldspathic sandstones with a clay matrix. Early analyses and tests suggested that the Gatton Sandstone was not suitable for RCC aggregate due to a 68% wet/dry strength reduction, high water absorption (5.2 – 7.5%) and petrographic interpretation that clay content was mainly swelling clay, leading to durability concerns.
Due to significant community, safety and cost issues with importing aggregate, Wyaralong Dam Alliance (WDA), during the development of the RCC mix design for Wyaralong Dam, chose to pursue the use of onsite quarried sandstone aggregate instead of importing aggregate. Additional petrographic and XRD analyses and extensive durability tests were undertaken on cores of sandstone and RCC samples, including wet‐dry cycles, soak tests in ethylene glycol, soaks in sodium hydroxide, and heating and cooling cycles. These tests indicated that, if swelling clays are present, they do not impact the durability behavior of the RCC aggregate.
The substantial effort put into testing the sandstone aggregate has paid off for WDA. Not only have the results indicated that the RCC mix performs remarkably well in terms of durability, but the very low modulus of elasticity of the mix has provided exceptional performance in terms of thermal loading; with all the related benefits in reduced restrictions to placement schedule and cooling requirements. Onsite sandstone was not only proven to be a feasible option, it has been demonstrated that it is the best option for the project. Details of the study are provided in this paper.
Keywords: Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC), Sandstone, Aggregate, Clay, Mix, Durability
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Rick W. Schultz P.E.
The Corps of Engineers Risk Management Center is undergoing a nationwide assessment of its navigation and flood control projects. Development of the methodology and tools used to determine probability of failure of mechanical and electrical systems for dams is being presented in this document. Development of the Weibull formulas for specific use in dam will be addressed along with use of fault tree analysis to determine system reliability.
Keywords: Dormant-Weibull Formula, Fault Tree, Characteristic Life of Components, Beta Shape Parameters, Inspection intervals.
Gavan Hunter and Robin Fell
Earthfill embankments in Australia have been widely used in dam construction since the start of the 20th century replacing the older puddle type and concrete corewall embankment designs. Most Australian dam portfolios will have one or more of these embankment types. A key component to the dam safety assessment of these dams is understanding their deformation behaviour, in particular the assessment of the future performance of these structures as they now reach ages of 40 to 80 years or more.
This paper presents the findings of a study on the deformation behaviour of earthfill embankments. It draws on a database of 54 case studies from mainly Australia, the United States and Europe. It is a component of a broader study on the deformation behaviour of embankment dams undertaken as a research project at University of New South Wales earlier this decade.
The data presented in this paper allows dam owners and their consultants to compare the deformation behaviour of their dam to the performance of other similar earthfill dams in evaluating dam safety. Typical patterns of deformation behaviour are presented and guidance is provided on identifying trends in deformation behaviour that are assessed as “abnormal” and that may be potentially indicative of marginal stability.
Tony Harman, Richard Herweynen, Malay Ghosh
Following a number of years of investigation into the condition of the existing 1960’s post tensioned anchors at Catagunya Dam Hydro Tasmania embarked on an options study to determine the best method to restore the dam stability to acceptable limits for the long term. The required solution was intended to not only resolve the issue of anchor deterioration but also to increase the flood capacity of the dam.
Based on preliminary design work a concrete buttress solution was recommended and approved for detailed design. The preliminary design utilised a simplified, 2-dimensional, rigid body model, including crack analysis. As part of the detailed design a finite element model was developed to refine the preliminary design. However, this model did not support the simplified analysis and further non-linear finite element analysis demonstrated that the proposed passive buttress design solution was not technically feasible. The options were reconsidered and the adopted solution was to replace the original anchors with new modern anchors with a high level of corrosion protection.
The new anchors adopted are the largest post tensioned anchor loading currently used for a dam in the world. This along with the existing post-tensioned anchors and the tight geometry of the dam, which has a central spillway with a cantilevered ogee crest, provided significant challenges with the design of this dam upgrade. Some of the key design challenges included:
– Appropriate level of modeling and analysis to be able to make sound design decisions. (Hydraulic modeling and FEA).
– Congestion due to the tight geometry of the original design.
– Anchor head block detail to ensure the loads would be adequately secured and dispersed into the dam body
– Crest cantilever support to ensure that structural integrity was retained during construction and later in service. Innovative installation of carbon fibre reinforcement was used.
– Strain compatibility. It was important to ensure the structural contribution of new and old working together and that the consequences of application of new large stresses was manageable.
– Existing anchor degradation. The design needed to ensure that stability compliance was achieved for complete to zero effectiveness over time.
– Maintaining operability of dam and power station during construction.
– Achieving an effective long term maintainable solution.
This paper will present the risk associated with committing to a solution too early and the design challenges and the solutions finally developed, providing the dam industry with a valuable reference for future similar projects.
Analysis and Design Challenges Associated with the Catagunya Dam Restoration Project
Dr Adam Butler, Robert Rigg, Glen Hobbs
The cost of maintenance is a serious problem. Preventive Maintenance is a good strategy if implemented well, but can led to unnecessary costs if items are replaced unnecessarily. Predictive maintenance can augment preventative maintenance by using real time instrumentation to monitor conditions. These techniques have been effective at recognizing the symptoms of impending machine failure
Glen Hobbs and Associates (GH&A) recently analysed pressure and displacement data from hydraulically actuated hoisting equipment of a large emergency closure fixed wheel gate. Data analysis enabled GH&A to pin-point causes of the gate malfunction. Anomalies in the data waveform corresponded to impacts and squeeze points in the system. Furthermore, comparing recent test data with older data highlighted gate deterioration over time.
Testing, analysis and trending of data enables asset managers to better predict the point at which maintenance really needs to be performed and shows that careful analysis of relevant data can help solve multi-faceted problems.
Keywords: Operations, Maintenance, Asset Management, Gates.
Kristen Sih, Peter Hill, Susan Ryan, Siraj Perera
Although ANCOLD provides guidance on good dam safety practices, in Australia it is the State and Territory Governments’ role to protect the public from dam safety incidents and in many cases these jurisdictions have legally binding regulations in place that dam owners must adhere to. This paper presents a comparative analysis of the dam safety regulations currently in place for Australian states, as well as selected international jurisdictions. The limit of applicability of the regulations, number of dams regulated, content of the regulations and powers and responsibilities of the regulator are all compared. It was found that there is a large range within each of these categories with regulatory approaches varying from light-handed and objective based, to highly prescriptive. The extent to which risk management principles are used in the regulations for each jurisdiction has also been investigated. It was found that in jurisdictions where higher hazard category dams account for a higher proportion of dams being regulated, risk analysis is included in the regulations. Finally, the ANCOLD societal risk criteria and ALARP considerations have been compared and contrasted with those from international jurisdictions and other hazardous industries.