Influence of concrete’s mechanical properties on the cracking of concrete dams
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Analytical methods of structural stability assessment of concrete dams are often too simple and thus conservative in their predictions.Without the actual foundation geometry, capacity for some rigid body failure modes are underestimated. This is problematic when deciding upon remediation activities of a dam that is considered unstable and may divert the restoration activities from where they are most impactful. In a previous study by Sas et al. 2019 where a section of an existing dam was scaled down and tested experimentally, the model indicated that several areas were experiencing large stresses, potentially leading to failure. This raised the research question whether another type of failure would occur for different material properties. Therefore, this paper delves into a probabilistic numerical approach, through finite element analysis, to evaluate dam stability based on randomization of a number of material properties such as modulus of elasticity, tensile strength, compressive strength, and fracture energy. The variation of the aforementioned material properties did not impact the failure mode, which was consistent among a broad range of material strengths.