Double curvature arch dams feature geometrical complexity with a significant amount of parameters involved. Different criteria exist to assist in the design task, from simplified geometrical approaches to optimization procedures. However, most of them present a lack of flexibility and are not integrated in computer-aided design tools. In this contribution, an interactive and flexible software tool is presented to support the complete design process: geometrical definition, FEM model generation (including the mesh, the loads and the boundary conditions) and thermo-mechanical analysis. The design can be performed with different levels of detail to adapt to the information available in each stage of the project. The tool allows defining the shape of the reference cylinder, the excavation depth and slope along the foundation, the crown cantilever thickness and curvature, the shape and location of horizontal arcs; all these steps were described in former contributions. Here, special attention is paid to the introduction of additional features such as joints, spillways, abutments of varying shape and outlet works. All steps have been defined with a high degree of flexibility in the design process. The tool is integrated with the pre and post process software GiD, which allows taking advantage of its functionalities, such as mesh generation and results analysis. It is also coupled with a specific application for thermo-mechanical analysis of dams, developed in Kratos Multiphysics – a framework for building parallel multi-disciplinary simulation software. The whole design process can be followed in a unique environment, because the structural response of preliminary designs can be computed and the results considered to refine the dam geometry.

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Published on 01/01/2017

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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