Effects of material properties on structural behavior and safety evaluation of an old arch dam
Safety evaluation is an important task to verify performance of a dam during its service. For an old dam, the material properties vary from the designed value significantly affecting structural performance. This study investigates the effects of material properties of dam concrete and foundation rock on the structural behavior of an old concrete arch dam during operation. The dam safety is evaluated by using a three-dimensional finite element model (FEM). All main loads, such as water pressure, dam self-weight, and thermal load, are considered in the analysis. An existing 54-year-old concrete arch dam, located in a tropical climate region in Thailand, is employed as a case study. The analysis results show that deformation modulus of the foundation, modulus elasticity of concrete, and the variation of reservoir water level during operation are key factors affecting the dam response. With a deformability modulus of foundation and elasticity modulus of dam concrete, which are about 20 GPa and 44.2 GPa, respectively, a good agreement in dam deflections between the analysis and the current monitored data from plumb line equipment can be obtained. It should be noted that the material properties are different from designed value significantly. Finally, safety evaluation can be properly conducted based on current material properties.