Adriana de Paula Lacerda Santos


2 Procedure for Monitoring the Process of Behavior of Thermal Cracking in Concrete Gravity Dams: A Case Study

Authors: Adriana de Paula Lacerda Santos, Mauro Lacerda Santos Filho, Bruna Godke


Several dams in the world have already collapsed, causing environmental, social and economic damage. The concern to avoid future disasters has stimulated the creation of a great number of laws and rules in many countries. In Brazil, Law 12.334/2010 was created, which establishes the National Policy on Dam Safety. Overall, this policy requires the dam owners to invest in the maintenance of their structures and to improve its monitoring systems in order to provide faster and straightforward responses in the case of an increase of risks. As monitoring tools, visual inspections has provides comprehensive assessment of the structures performance, while auscultation’s instrumentation has added specific information on operational or behavioral changes, providing an alarm when a performance indicator exceeds the acceptable limits. These limits can be set using statistical methods based on the relationship between instruments measures and other variables, such as reservoir level, time of the year or others instruments measuring. Besides the design parameters (uplift of the foundation, displacements, etc.) the dam instrumentation can also be used to monitor the behavior of defects and damage manifestations. Specifically in concrete gravity dams, one of the main causes for the appearance of cracks, are the concrete volumetric changes generated by the thermal origin phenomena, which are associated with the construction process of these structures. Based on this, the goal of this research is to propose a monitoring process of the thermal cracking behavior in concrete gravity dams, through the instrumentation data analysis and the establishment of control values. Therefore, as a case study was selected the Block B-11 of José Richa Governor Dam Power Plant, that presents a cracking process, which was identified even before filling the reservoir in August’ 1998, and where crack meters and surface thermometers were installed for its monitoring. Although these instruments were installed in May 2004, the research was restricted to study the last 4.5 years (June 2010 to November 2014), when all the instruments were calibrated and producing reliable data. The adopted method is based on simple linear correlations procedures to understand the interactions among the instruments time series, verifying the response times between them. The scatter plots were drafted from the best correlations, which supported the definition of the limit control values. Among the conclusions, it is shown that there is a strong or very strong correlation between ambient temperature and the crack meters and flowmeters measurements. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, it was possible to develop a tool for monitoring the behavior of the case study cracks. Thus it was fulfilled the goal of the research to develop a proposal for a monitoring process of the behavior of thermal cracking in concrete gravity dams.

Keywords: Instrumentation, concrete gravity dam, dams safety, simple linear correlation

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1 Application of NBR 14861: 2011 for the Design of Prestress Hollow Core Slabs Subjected to Shear

Authors: Alessandra Aparecida Vieira França, Adriana de Paula Lacerda Santos, Mauro Lacerda Santos Filho


The purpose of this research i to study the behavior of precast prestressed hollow core slabs subjected to shear. In order to achieve this goal, shear tests were performed using hollow core slabs 26,5cm thick, with and without a concrete cover of 5 cm, without cores filled, with two cores filled and three cores filled with concrete. The tests were performed according to the procedures recommended by FIP (1992), the EN 1168:2005 and following the method presented in Costa (2009). The ultimate shear strength obtained within the tests was compared with the values of theoretical resistant shear calculated in accordance with the codes, which are being used in Brazil, noted: NBR 6118:2003 and NBR 14861:2011. When calculating the shear resistance through the equations presented in NBR 14861:2011, it was found that provision is much more accurate for the calculation of the shear strength of hollow core slabs than the NBR 6118 code. Due to the large difference between the calculated results, even for slabs without cores filled, the authors consulted the committee that drafted the NBR 14861:2011 and found that there is an error in the text of the standard, because the coefficient that is suggested, actually presents the double value than the needed one! The ABNT, later on, soon issued an amendment of NBR 14861:2011 with the necessary corrections. During the tests for the present study, it was confirmed that the concrete filling the cores contributes to increase the shear strength of hollow core slabs. But in case of slabs 26,5 cm thick, the quantity should be limited to a maximum of two cores filled, because most of the results for slabs with three cores filled were smaller. This confirmed the recommendation of NBR 14861:2011which is consistent with standard practice. After analyzing the configuration of cracking and failure mechanisms of hollow core slabs during the shear tests, strut and tie models were developed representing the forces acting on the slab at the moment of rupture. Through these models the authors were able to calculate the tensile stress acting on the concrete ties (ribs) and scaled the geometry of these ties. The conclusions of the research performed are the experiments results have shown that the mechanism of failure of the hollow-core slabs can be predicted using the strut-and-tie procedure, within a good range of accuracy. In addition, the needed of the correction of the Brazilian standard to review the correction factor σcp duplicated (in NBR14861/2011), and the limitation of the number of cores (Holes) to be filled with concrete, to increase the strength of the slab for the shear resistance. It is also suggested the increasing the amount of test results with 26.5 cm thick, and a larger range of thickness slabs, in order to obtain results of shear tests with cores concreted after the release of prestressing force. Another set of shear tests on slabs must be performed in slabs with cores filled and cover concrete reinforced with welded steel mesh for comparison with results of theoretical values calculated by the new revision of the standard NBR 14861:2011.

Keywords: shear, prestressed hollow core slabs, strut, tie models

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