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Load capacity of grouted rock bolts in concrete dams
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Concrete Structures.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the contribution of grouted rock bolts on the stability of concrete dams. The load capacity of the grouted rock bolts are assessed considering eventual deteriorating processes. An additional objective was to compare the resulting load capacity with the prevailing regulations in RIDAS (the power companies’ guidelines on dam safety) and possibly suggest new guideline values.

The literature study consists of two parts; concrete dams and grouted rock bolts. In the first part concrete dams are discussed and especially the inherent forces and aspects when controlling their stability. The second part treats grouted rock bolts and the theoretical focus is on their function and possible failure modes as well as on the degrading processes (primarily corrosion) that are affecting the rock bolts. 

Subsequently, the theory was applied on the Swedish concrete buttress dam Storfinnforsen, which is the largest concrete dam in Sweden. The dam was selected for this study mainly because its shape is archetypical for buttress dams. In addition, a digitalized model of the dam was obtainable from previous research projects. 

A numerical analysis with the finite element analysis software ABAQUS was performed in order to evaluate the stability of the dam and to support the analytical analysis. The load capacity of the grouted rock bolts was analytically evaluated with consideration to eventual degradation. Assuming a corrosion rate of 60 μm/year, the grouted rock bolts in Storfinnforsen could after 100 years be trusted with a load capacity of approximately 180 MPa. That load capacity is due to shear failure, which constitutes the most plausible failure mode for rock bolts in buttress dams. The value 180 MPa is to be seen in contrast to the current limitation of 140 MPa that is defined in RIDAS (2011).

The conclusion of this thesis is accordingly, that the maximum allowed load capacity that can be assigned the grouted rock bolts in the stability calculations of concrete dams can be increased from todays 140 MPa. This conclusion is substantiated by the analytical analyses with the numerical calculations as support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 71 p.
TRITA-BKN-Examensarbete, ISSN 1103-4297 ; 417
Keyword [en]
Concrete dams, buttress dams, grouted rock bolts, sliding, overturning, corrosion, finite element modeling
Keyword [sv]
betongdammar, lamelldamm, slaka bergsförankringar, glidning, stjälpning, korrosion, finita element modellering
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-147180OAI: diva2:728004
Subject / course
Concrete Structures
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Available from: 2014-06-26 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2014-06-26Bibliographically approved

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