2012 – Interface-Element Evaluations of A Concrete-Rockfill Composite Dam Using Centrifuge Model Test and Numerical Analyses

Lim Jeong-Yeul

A concrete-rockfill composite dam consists of two zones: a slender concrete gravity section and a rockfill embankment section. Each zone behaves according to its stiffness and geometry during earthquake shaking. At the abrupt interface a structure behavioural discrepancy results. To mitigate such this discrepancy, a transition interface is introduced by gradually tapering the concrete section down and burying into the central part of rockfill embankment. However the behaviour of the interface is complex due to the two intermeshing of the different materials. Previously, the interface was not designed with any serious theoretical approach, but with the intuitive belief that the transition structure can play the role of mitigating behavioural difference between concrete and rockfill sections. This study seeks to characterize the dynamic behaviour of each section and to understand the performance of the interface using centrifuge model test and numerical analyses. The centrifuge model, which was reproduced by scaling down D dam in Korea, were loaded with adjusted seismic forces based upon seismic coefficient of 0.098g and 0.154g required in the dam design criteria. The legitimacy of the model test was verified by the comparison of the test results with those of numerical analyses, and the most appropriate input values for the interface elements were proposed through a systematic parametric analysis. The key findings of the paper are as follows: Numerical parameters study of the interface-element was carried out, the friction angle depends on rockfill zone material and normal and shear stiffness coefficient of the two materials (concrete and rockfill), the average values were found to be the most appropriate. The findings of this study can be used to design new composite dams, rehabilitate current dams, or design additional spillways to current rockfill dams.

Keywords: Composite dam, Centrifuge, Interface-element

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