Post-peak behavior of concrete dams based on nonlinear finite element analyses
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEngineering Failure Analysis. 2021, 130 . 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2021.105778
Dam failures are catastrophic events and in order to improve safety, engineers must have good tools for analysis and an understanding of the failure process. Since there are few cases of real failures in concrete dams, which can work as validation, physical model tests are a good way of improving numerical models and the understanding of the failure process. In this article, a physical model test of the buttress from a concrete Ambursen type dam is used as a benchmark for calibrating a FE-model. The dam failure is thereafter simulated using the concept of safety commonly used in the design codes. The advantages and drawbacks of performing load- and displacement-controlled simulations are compared. A new method for performing displacementcontrolled simulations, using nonlinear springs to introduce the hydrostatic pressure and ice load is thereafter suggested and tested. The proposed method gives results which corresponds to the classical methods of analysis but has some advantages. Primarily, the new method is stable and does not suffer from convergence issues as was the case with the other methods. It is also simple to introduce in most commercial software compared to classical displacement-controlled simulations.