The construction of double-curvature arch dams is an attractive solution from an economic viewpoint due to the reduced volume of concrete necessary for their construction as compared to conventional gravity dams. Due to their complex geometry, many criteria have arisen for their design. However, the most widespread methods are based on recommendations of traditional technical documents without taking into account the possibilities of computer-aided design. In this paper, an innovative software tool to design FEM models of double-curvature arch dams is presented. Several capabilities are allowed: simplified geometry creation (interesting for academic purposes), preliminary geometrical design, high-detailed model construction, and stochastic calculation performance (introducing uncertainty associated with material properties and other parameters). This paper specially focuses on geometrical issues describing the functionalities of the tool and the fundamentals of the design procedure with regard to the following aspects: topography, reference cylinder, excavation depth, crown cantilever thickness and curvature, horizontal arch curvature, excavation and concrete mass volume, and additional elements such as joints or spillways. Examples of application on two Spanish dams are presented and the results obtained analyzed.

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Published on 01/01/2017

DOI: 10.1155/2017/9856938
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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