Experimental and Numerical Fracture Modelling of a Gravity Dam


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Title: Experimental and Numerical Fracture Modelling of a Gravity Dam

Author(s): A. Carpinteri, S. Valente, G. Ferrara, and L. Imperato

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 143


Appears on pages(s): 107-122

Keywords: cracking (fracturing); finite element method; models; fracture properties; gravity dams; loads (forces); Structural Research

Date: 5/1/1994

Two small-scale 1:40 models of a gravity dam are subjected to equivalent hydraulic and weight loading. An initial notch in the upstream wall propagates during the loading process toward the foundation. Crack mouth opening control is performed, and the load-versus-CMOD diagram is plotted. A numerical simulation of the experiments is carried out using a cohesive fracture model in mixed mode condition. The structural behavior of the models and the crack trajectories are reproduced by the finite element idealization in a satisfactory way. The experiments described in this paper, while adopting the physical modeling techniques for civil structures, would be better defined as an example of the application of an experimental technique for assessing structural and material performance of concrete rather than rigorous physical modeling.