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R.I. Herweynen and A.M. Hughes
Hydro Tasmania has a number of dams which were designed and constructed in the 1950-70s
with fully grouted, post-tensioned anchors. The method used was leading edge in its day,
however, it does not achieve the cable protection of modern methods which provide two barriers
against corrosion and are monitorable. Hydro Tasmania has developed and employed an
innovative program to ascertain the integrity and remaining life of the cables and to prepare
long term management plans for its cabled dams.
An international panel was set-up to provide guidance on the overall issue, assist in developing
a sound methodology for assessing the corrosion of the anchors and advise on long-term
monitoring. To focus the efforts, Catagunya Dam was adopted as the pilot dam, as the stability
of this dam is very much dependent on the integrity of the anchors. This paper will provide a
brief overview of the project to date but will focus in detail on the main components of the
corrosion assessment of the anchors, namely:
- In situ ground water testing over the entire valley section using holes drilled for piezometers.
- Laboratory testing carried out by CAPCIS in the UK to simulate potential corrosion rates
using actual ground water samples collected.
- In situ potentiostatic polarisation testing used to determine instantaneous corrosion rates forthe test anchors.
The paper also provides a brief summary of the instrumentation installed at Catagunya Dam toLearn more
assist with the long-term monitoring of the dam.
Chris Topham, Andrew Pattle, David Tanner, Oliver Giudici
Many owners around the world have dams that rely on grouted, post-tensioned rock anchors for stability. The anchors were installed during the original construction of the dams or retrofitted to improve stability during their operational life. The use of fully grouted post-tensioned anchors spanned the period of the 1960’s to 1980’s. The main issue with these un-sheathed grouted rock anchors is the question of integrity of the grout column protecting the anchor and concerns about possible corrosion of the high tensile wires from which the cables are constructed. While some of these anchors have corrosion monitoring systems installed, it is difficult to validate such data and there is considerable uncertainty over the condition of such anchors. To compound the problem, replacement of the anchors is technically complex, extremely costly and difficult to justify in the absence of known condition. For example, Hydro Tasmania has recent experience of work to cease reliance on such anchors at Catagunya Dam that cost $41m in 2009. With fifteen dams relying on some form of post-tensioned anchors, Hydro Tasmania has recently taken the unusual step of over-coring and extracting three post-tensioned rock anchors from operating dams in order to assess their condition. In what is believed to be a world first, a 42m long 70 strand high tensile anchor was overcored and removed from Meadowbank Dam in 2014. A further two anchors were successfully extracted from Repulse Dam in 2015, in conjunction with a group of international sponsors with similar anchors. This paper uses the 2015 work to illustrate the methodology used to extract the anchors, outlines the information gained from this unusual work, and presents the results of the condition of the extracted anchors. The paper concludes with some inferences for other owners with similar anchors and suggestions for further work.Learn more
Keywords: Grouted, post-tensioned rock anchor, ground anchor, corrosion, over-coring, extraction, dam safety.
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.Learn more