Published in Journal of structural engineering Vol. 126 (9), pp. 1053-1060, 2000
The increasing number of roller compacted concrete (RCC) dams being built around the world demands accurate methodologies for the realistic short- and long-term evaluations of the risk of thermally induced cracking in these constructions. In this work a numerical procedure for the simulation of the construction process of RCC dams is presented. It takes into account the more relevant features of the behavior of concrete at early ages, such as hydration, aging, creep, and damage. A 2D model of the Urugua-í RCC Dam, built in Argentina, is used to perform the corresponding analyses. In this first part only the thermochemical aspects of the simulation of the construction process are presented. The temperature distribution and evolution inside the dam are obtained before and after the completion of the dam. The evolution of the compressive and tensile strengths and elastic moduli and their final distribution inside the dam can also be predicted. Results from 2D and simplified vertical 1D models are compared to assess the validity of the latter, and several parametric studies are carried out. The simulation and discussion of the mechanical aspects of the construction process are relegated to a companion paper that follows.