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Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Roller Compacted Concrete Dams

Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Roller Compacted Concrete Dams Year: 2011 NABEEL AHMED KHAN 2007-MS-STRU-08 DEPARTMENT OF

Year: 2011




Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Roller Compacted Concrete Dams

Year: 2011



SUPERVISOR (Assistant Prof. Dr. Kafeel Ahmad)

EXTERNAL EXAMINER (Prof. (R) Dr. Zia-ud-din Mian)

CHAIRMAN Civil Engineering Department

DEAN Faculty of Civil Engineering

Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Civil Engineering



To Parents and Teachers for leading me into intellectual persuade and who inspired me towards the sacred task of learning.


The author would not have been able to finish this project without the support of family and friends who have always been there, the encouragement they give to keep moving and their love to empower, that never fails at any time. Thank you.

The author would like to thank Dr. Kafeel Ahmad, Research Supervisor, who has given a chance to prove that everything is possible. His deep insight and supervision gave a lot of positive perspective, and taught things far more than understanding. To you sir, the author gives lots of thanks and respect. Thank you.

The author would also thank Mr.Mumtaz J. Shabbir (late), the Ex- Head of SED NESPAK who was a true leader and visionary and always inspired everyone towards living purposefully and attaining something with marvel and dedication. He will always live in the hearts for what he taught was the sheer sense of honour and love for the field. Thank you Sir.

And In the end, the author would like to thank Almighty Allah, He who was, is and will always be; Him who is giving high hopes; for giving us strength and hope towards achieving goals; for being true to what He promised. All praises to Him, thank you our Creator and Savior. To God be the glory.

Nabeel A. Khan


Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) has emerged as an excellent material to replace the costly conventional mass concrete in the construction of large dams worldwide. RCC dams are built by placing concrete lifts and compacting them with external vibratory rollers and dozers. The principal advantage of the use of RCC is reduced cost and time in dam construction. But it has a tendency of excessive thermal cracking which needs to be controlled during its design and construction.

Concrete setting is an exothermic reaction which produces considerable amount of heat due to hydration of cement. The low thermal conductivity of concrete and the great volume of massive concrete structure, such as gravity dam, contribute to a low dissipation of the hydration heat. The rapid method of construction associated with RCC dams creates an adiabatic environment inside the dam, as there is no time to dissipate the heat generated before placing the next layer. This transient thermal gradient results in volumetric changes which may be restrained by previously set concrete in the vicinity of the newly placed lift, thus causing tensile stresses. If concrete tensile strain capacity is exceeded, cracking will occur. Excessive concrete cracking may cause excessive seepage, with the resulting damaging effects on durability and even structural stability of dam. Experience shows that thermal cracking is a major concern for RCC dams and a realistic evaluation of this phenomenon beforehand is mandatory.

In this research, steps involved in thermo-mechanical analysis of large RCC dams have been presented. Detailed construction-stage thermo-mechanical analysis of Dasu Dam which is a part of WAPDA’s Future vision 2025 has been carried out as case study emphasizing on actual site conditions prevalent during the construction of this dam.








Development of RCC



Advent of RCC in Pakistan



Structural Analyses of RCC Dams



Why Thermal Analysis?



Thesis Organization









Discussion & Underlying Principles



Numerical Models for Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of RCC



Further Research









Algorithm for Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of RCC Dam



Numerical Modeling and Material Properties



Mix Design of RCC



RCC Properties Adopted in this Analysis



Climatic Variations



Placement Temperature



Construction Schedule



Computer Modeling



Introduction to ANSYS



Numerical Discretization and Analysis Procedure



Analysis Assumptions









Thermal Gradient Analysis



Thermal Stress Analysis



Thermal Crack Analysis



Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM)



Non Linear Fracture Mechanics



Fictitious Crack Model



Application of Fracture Mechanics



Validation of Results


















Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) has emerged as an excellent material to replace the costly conventional mass concrete in the construction of large dams worldwide over the past forty years. The use of RCC has allowed many new dams to become financially viable due to the reduced economies realized from the rapid construction method.

In physical appearance, RCC is relatively dry, lean and has zero slump, containing coarse and fine aggregates that are consolidated by external vibration using vibratory rollers, dozers and other heavy equipment. In principle, RCC dam is a concrete dam constructed by using earth/rockfill dam construction equipment. In the hardened condition, RCC has similar properties to conventional concrete. For effective compaction, RCC must be dry enough to support the weight of the construction equipment, but have a consistency wet enough to permit adequate distribution of the paste binder throughout the mass during the mixing and vibration process.

ACI 116 and ACI 207.5R defines RCC as concrete compacted by roller compaction; and which will support a (vibratory) roller while being compacted. RCC is usually mixed using high-capacity continuous mixing or batching equipment. The mix is then delivered with trucks or conveyors, and spread with bulldozers in layers prior to compaction.


Roller compacted concrete has been in regular use since 1920s, mostly as a base for highways and airfield pavements. The rapid worldwide acceptance of RCC was a result of its economics and successful performance in the recent history. The first use of RCC in

Chapter 1


large volumes (2.66 million cubic metres) was at Tarbela Dam in 1974 where it was used to replace rock in the collapsed stilling basins and plunge pools. Shimajigawa Dam, Japan (completed in 1981) and Willow Creek Dam, USA (completed in 1982) are considered the principal structures that initiated the global acceptance of RCC dams and up till today, over 500 RCC dams have been completed worldwide. It has become virtually the standard method of constructing concrete gravity dams.

Rapid advances in RCC construction have occurred in developing nations to meet increased water and power needs. Faster concrete placement rates and low heat of hydration have primarily been key factors for the construction of large RCC dams. The highest RCC dam built to date is the 216m high Longtan dam, currently nearing completion in China. The 220 m high Nam Ngum dam in Lao PDR is also at initial stages. The behaviour of RCC gravity dams is essentially the same as for conventional concrete gravity dams from structural, operational and maintenance points of view.


Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) launched an elaborate plan to meet the country’s growing energy needs namely “Water Resources and Hydropower Development -Vision 2025” according to which several large dams have been proposed throughout Pakistan with Diamer Basha Dam (283m high), Dasu Dam (233m high) and Bunji Dam (180m high) to name a few being RCC dams specifically. These three large dams will add approximately 12000 Megawatts to the national grid. Construction of Diamer Basha Dam will initiate in 2011, Dasu Dam is in tender design stage whereas prefeasibility studies of Bunji Dam have been completed. Once completed, these dams will certainly be a landmark for Northern Areas of Pakistan making it a potential hub of extreme engineering achievements in the field of RCC dam construction.

The design of an RCC dam balances the use of available materials, the selection of structural features and the proposed methods of construction. Faster concrete placement rates and low heat of hydration have been key factors for the construction of large RCC dams. By maintaining good quality control during construction, RCC offers an attractive option for building large dams especially gravity dams where the concrete volume is

Chapter 1


substantial. Sound rock foundations as encountered at these dam sites are considered the most suitable for RCC gravity dams. In addition, good quality coarse and fine aggregates are available abundantly in these localities which add to the advantages of RCC. All these factors governed the selection of RCC as the ultimate choice for construction of large dams in Pakistan.


In general, structural design studies of a concrete dam comprise of stability analysis, stress analysis and thermal analysis. Stability and stress analyses are based on principles of statics and dynamics using either the rigid body mechanics or the discretization such as Finite elements etc. Thermal analysis, on the contrary, is quiet rigorous particularly due to lengthy algorithms involved because of its non-linear incremental transient nature. Above that, definition of accurate concrete model incorporating all important properties to simulate the actual construction scenario of a dam makes the problem even more complicated.


Concrete setting is an exothermic reaction that produces considerable amount of heat due to hydration of cement. The low thermal conductivity of concrete and the great volume of massive concrete structure, such as gravity dam, contribute to a low dissipation of this heat. The rapid method of construction associated with RCC dams creates an almost adiabatic behaviour of material in the centre of dam, as there is no time to dissipate the heat generated before placing the next layer. This transient thermal gradient results in volumetric changes which may be restrained by previously set concrete, thus causing tensile stresses. If concrete tensile strain capacity is exceeded, cracking may occur. Excessive concrete cracking may cause excessive seepage, with the resulting damaging effects on durability and even structural stability. Experience shows that thermal cracking is a major concern for RCC dams and a realistic evaluation of this phenomenon beforehand is mandatory.

Chapter 1


In this research, steps involved in thermo-mechanical analysis of large RCC dams will be presented. Detailed construction-stage thermo-mechanical analysis of Dasu Dam will be carried out as case study emphasizing on actual site conditions prevalent at the construction site.


The current research has been presented in different chapters described as under, along with a brief summary of works carried out.

Chapter 1 focuses on introducing the concept of RCC and how it has developed over the years replacing the conventional concrete practices in the construction of large dams.

In Chapter 2, a detailed review of literature including the underlying principles of thermo- mechanical analysis and description of analytical models put forth by various researchers and some comments on these models have been presented.

In Chapter 3, the computational strategy and modeling of roller compacted concrete has been discussed. Detailed description of the adopted parameters, various assumptions and algorithms used in the computer aided modeling and solution of the thermal analysis problem has been presented. Emphasis has been laid on selection of the most appropriate mathematical model that would simulate the actual on-site conditions of the proposed dam.

Chapter 4 presents the results of thermo-mechanical analysis as obtained from the software. Both tabular data and graphical displays have been provided to give a better picture and to develop understanding of the actual problem. Sensitivity of the assumed parameters on the obtained results has also been discussed. A brief discussion on fracture mechanics parameters has also been presented in this chapter.

Finally, Chapter 5 concludes the main results obtained from this study and some important recommendations for future research oriented works.





This chapter lays emphasis on the basics of thermal stresses in large concrete dams with detailed description of thermo-mechanical properties of Roller Compacted Concrete which will be used in detailed analysis afterwards. A number of numerical models presented by various researchers to depict inherent properties of RCC will also be provided with particular merits and demerits.


During construction, the placement temperature is somewhat higher than the ambient temperature prevalent at that instant. As RCC hydrates, its temperature rises and due to restraint by adjacent material, it experiences compression as it attempts to expand. Once hydration is essentially complete, the RCC slowly cools decreasing the level of the compression till a steady state temperature is reached. The temperature which then causes a stage of no stress is called “zero stress temperature” (ZST). Further decrease of temperature can cause tensile stresses which can exceed tensile capacity and thus lead to crack development.

The following figure describes the various parameters relevant to the thermal studies prepared by Deutsches Talsperren komitee [1] .

Chapter 2

Literature Review

Chapter 2 Literature Review Figure 2.1: General temperature and stress profile of RCC A = Concrete

Figure 2.1: General temperature and stress profile of RCC

A = Concrete Temperature

B = Time

C = Concrete Stresses

D = Zero Stress temperature

E = Cracking Temperature

F = Compressive prestressing

G = Tensile stresses

H = Tensile strength

Heat transfer is a complex phenomenon involving conduction, convection, radiation and heat generation as a result of hydration, all occurring side by side. Due to rapidity of RCC placement, hydration heat becomes entrapped and this heat is conducted radially to the layers above and below the one being considered. Coefficient of conductivity governs this behaviour. Convection occurs as a result of heat loss to the environment depending upon heat transfer mechanism. Convection takes place in two phases:


Immediately after a layer is placed taking some portion of the early heat of hydration. The setting time of RCC is about five to seven hours during which much of the heat is dissipated through convection.

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Literature Review

b) Surface heat transfer taking place from the dam face. Heat generated due to hydration moves towards the dam face due to conduction from where it is lost to air.

Though the thermal effects of conventional concrete and roller compacted concrete do not differ much, still a significant difference between the two is the slower placement rate for conventional concrete which allows for an early dissipation of hydration heat. The rapid placement inherent to RCC implies that increased insulation due to successive layers is present by the time peak hydration temperatures are reached. On the other hand, lower cementitious materials content of RCC implies a lower total adiabatic hydration temperature rise than an equivalent conventionally vibrated concrete (CVC).

The actual temperature rise in mass concrete depends on the dynamics of exothermic reaction between cement and water which in turn is time and temperature dependent. Ambient environmental conditions, thermal properties of the mix, geometry of structure and construction conditions influence the process of heat development. Uncontrolled increase in the temperature of mass concrete is detrimental to the integrity of structure. Increase in volume of concrete equal to the product of temperature rise and co-efficient of thermal expansions occurs and this process continues till the peak temperatures are achieved. Over a period of several months or even years, temperature of mass concrete slowly cools to a stable temperature, or a stable temperature cycle. If concrete is unrestrained, it is free to contract as a result of cooling from peak temperatures and no tensile stresses will thus be produced. However, mass concrete structures are always restrained to certain degrees either due to foundation or previously placed concrete lifts, tensile stresses are thus obligatory. If these stresses exceed tensile strain capacity of mass concrete, thermal cracks are formed either on the surface called ‘surface gradient cracking’ or inside the mass called ‘mass gradient cracking’. Seepage is the principal problem if magnitude of these cracks is extensive which causes additional hydraulic gradients inside the dam body, combined with the fact that RCC is somewhat weaker along the lift joints, creates a major risk for structural stability and weakens the dam in sliding.

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Literature Review

The following set of figures describes various parameters/processes involved in the

thermal analysis problem of concrete dam. a) during construction and b) after completion

of construction

during construction and b) after completion of construction Figure 2.2 (a): Process of Heat Transfer in

Figure 2.2 (a): Process of Heat Transfer in Concrete Dams during Construction

of Heat Transfer in Concrete Dams during Construction Figure 2.2 (b): Process of Heat Transfer in

Figure 2.2 (b): Process of Heat Transfer in Concrete Dams after Completion of Construction

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Literature Review

Over the last three decades, efforts have been implanted to establish true numerical simulation of thermal cracking so that potential property and life risk in the event of dam failures may be avoided. Several models were put forth by renowned researchers to evaluate thermal properties of roller compacted concrete as will be presented in the subsequent sections. But before that, a brief description of thermal and mechanical properties of roller compacted concrete is given below [14] :

Adiabatic Temperature Rise (T ad ): An adiabatic system is one in which heat is neither allowed to enter or leave. Adiabatic temperature rise is therefore, a rise in temperature of concrete due to heat of hydration of cement in adiabatic conditions. In mass concrete, temperatures near the centre of mass will be sum of placement temperatures and adiabatic temperature rise. Near the surface, peak temperatures will be numerically close to ambient temperatures. Total temperature rise depends on the cement content in the concrete mix. Traditionally, almost half of the cement quantity had been replaced with other cementitious compounds just to reduce the total heat of hydration. Typical values of adiabatic temperature rise in mass concrete ranges from 11 to 19 °C at 5 days to 17 to 25 °C at 28 days. ACI 207.1R also gives typical curves for adiabatic temperature rise to be used in case of unavailability of laboratory data.

Specific Heat (c): Specific heat is the amount of heat required for unit rise in temperature in a unit mass. Its value is affected by temperature changes however, it is assumed constant for mass concrete calculations. Typical values range from 0.75 to 1.25 kJ/kg-K.

Thermal Conductivity (K): It is the rate at which heat is transmitted through a material of unit area and thickness when there is a unit difference in temperature between the two faces. It is the product of thermal diffusivity, specific heat and density. It is also assumed to be independent of temperature for the purpose of thermal analysis. Typical values of thermal conductivity for mass concrete range from 1.7 to 3.5 W/m-K.

Thermal diffusivity (h 2 ): Thermal diffusivity is the rate at which temperature change can occur in a material. It is obtained by dividing thermal conductivity with the product of

Chapter 2

Literature Review

specific heat and unit weight (= K/γc). It is also assumed to be independent of time and temperature. Typical values range from 0.003 to 0.006 m 2 /hr.

Modulus of Elasticity (E c ): It is defined as the ratio of normal stress to corresponding normal strain below proportional limit. For concrete, modulus of elasticity depends on the degree of hydration and hence it is time and temperature dependent. However, its temperature dependency is neglected for mass concretes. Laboratory tests should be performed to determine elasticity values at various ages to represent the ‘aging’ effects. Typically, its value range from 21 to 38 GPa at 28 days. Sustained modulus of elasticity (E sus ) includes creep effects and can be obtained directly from creep tests.

Co-efficient of Thermal Expansion (C th ): It is the change in linear dimension per unit length divided by temperature change. The value of this coefficient depends on the type and quantity of coarse aggregates and is considered independent of time and strength. Typical values are 5 to 14 × 10 -6 per °C.

Tensile Strain Capacity (ε sc ): It is the change in length/volume per unit length/volume that can be accommodated in concrete prior to cracking. It depends on time and strength of concrete and also upon the rate of loading.

Creep: Creep is defined as time dependent deformation due to loads applied for longer periods. It results in an increase in strain, but at a continuously decreasing rate keeping the stress constant. It depends on modulus of elasticity and hence is time and strength dependent. Specific creep is the creep under unit stress or strain per MPa.

Shrinkage: Drying shrinkage occurs due to loss of moisture from concrete structures which are relatively thin than mass concrete. Autogenous shrinkage is a decrease in volume of concrete due to hydration of the cementitious materials. For mass concrete structures, only autogenous shrinkage is considered. It occurs over longer time periods and is dependent on time and strength of concrete.

Chapter 2

Literature Review


Thermo-mechanical analysis is a complex problem due to involvement of plenty of

variables. Aging of concrete is the most important aspect in this regard as almost all

properties of concrete vary with age of concrete. Furthermore, changing environmental

conditions adds to the complexity of this problem. Research is still underway to develop

the most accurate numerical and analytical model of roller compacted concrete in the

construction of dam representing the actual on-site scenarios.

Some of the most prominent works carried out by researchers and practicing engineers at

various mega projects are presented below. Each is followed by a brief note of author’s


Cervera and Goltz (2004) [7] presented a modified 1-D thermo-chemo-mechanical model

for analyzing roller compacted concrete dam. The idea behind this 1-D model was to

reduce the computational efforts and CPU time cost in analyzing 2-D or 3-D models. The

model presented by these authors was implemented in computer program named COMET

developed by International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) in

Barcelona, Spain.

The following hydration model based on the principles of thermodynamics was presented

by the authors:

Thermal field equation is given by:



() = + . (T)



= temperature (°C)


= heat capacity per unit volume


= velocity of liberated heat per unit volume

… 2.1

R ext = heat production of the external volume of heat source

k T = thermal conductivity

ξ = hydration degree = Q/Q

Q = final amount of liberated heat in ideal conditions

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Literature Review

The final degree of hydration depends on the water-cement ratio and is calculated by:





This is equivalent to assuming a linear dependency of the form Q(ξ) = Q ξ ξ where Q ξ is

the latent heat, assumed to be constant. To incorporate aging effects on material

properties, an internal variable k was defined which is calculated as:

= ( + )

… 2.3

where, A f , B f = material constants

T ref = reference temperature

T T = maximum temperature at which hardening of concrete will occur

n T = material property controlling sensibility to the curing temperature

Thus, compressive strength is given as:

() =

… 2.4

where, is the compressive strength and is its final value. On a similar pattern,

tensile strength and elastic modulus can be given as:

+ () = 2/3 + and () = 2/3

… 2.5

The creep effects were modeled via a visco-elastic damage model based on the

framework of Continuum Damage Mechanics Theory considering short and long term

behaviours involving creep and relaxation phenomenon. Detailed description of this

model is given in [7] .

Results from software COMET which is based on the above mathematical model were

compared with temperature data obtained from thermometers installed in Rialb RCC

Dam, Spain.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

Observations and Comments:

This 1-D strip model is able to calculate temperature gradients and thermal stresses quiet

accurately. ‘Slide lines’ were placed on both sides of the strip model to simulate the

horizontal heat flux. However, calculation of these slide lines is quiet problematic as heat

can flow in any diagonal direction as well which cannot be modeled with these slide lines.

In addition, transverse crack pattern is difficult to judge from this model due to its 1-D


Calmon et-al (2004) [6] presented a numerical model for thermal stresses of RCC dams

using 2-D finite element method. According to them, the general 2-D partial differential

equation governing the heat flow in a solid is given as:

() () + ̇ =


… 2.6


q = rate of internal heat generation due to hydration per unit of volume and time (W/m 3 )

ρ = density of material (kg/m 3 )


= specific heat capacity of concrete (J/kg°C)


= thermal conductivity of the material (W/m°C)

ρc = thermal capacity of concrete, and

T = temperature function depending on the location and time

Boundary conditions for this heat flow problem are Neumann conditions given as:


+ (, , ) = 0

… 2.7

where n x and n y are the Cartesian co-ordinates of the vector of directional cosines of the

normal to the surface and q(x,y,t) is the heat flow gained/lost by unity area. To simulate

environmental conditions, Calmon et-al used the following equation based on Newton’s


q c (x,y,t) = h c [T(x,y,t) – T a (t)]

… 2.8

Chapter 2

Literature Review

Here h c is the convection heat transfer coefficient (also called film coefficient, W/m 2 ) and

for concrete surfaces, it is approximated as:


c = 3.8w + 4.7

… 2.9

Authors used the following relation originally given by Polivka & Wilson (1976) and

modified by Silva (2002) to portray heat transfer by radiation between two surfaces:

(, , ) = 1 ( 4 4 )





… 2.10

where V = radiation factor (o V 1)

σ = Stefan-Boltzmann constant [5.6705 x 10 -8 W/(m 2 .K 4 )]

ε s = emissivity of the surface

ε r = emissivity of the external source of radiation

T s = absolute temperature of the surface (Kelvin)

T r = absolute temperature of the source (Kelvin)

Now heat gained due to solar radiations was expressed by the following relation:

q s (x,y,t) = a.I (x,y,t)

… 2.11

Here α is the coefficient of absorptivity of solar radiation and I (x,y,t) is the total incident

solar radiation at any point at time t. These values can be obtained from local

meteorological data. To model the heat of hydration of concrete, following equation

based on experimental works of Rastrup (1954) was used.

= + . .( )

… 2.12

where Q is the heat of hydration (J/g) and E, b, n, q are constants depending on

composition of concrete mix. The variable t e is an equivalent time for the process in real

time t and is obtained as:

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Literature Review

= 3600

2 0.1( )


… 2.13

Here T t is the temperature of the process during time Δt in seconds and T r is the reference

temperature. Heat generation rate per unit volume and unit time ̇ is

̇ = . . . ( ) 1 . . . 3600


0.1( )

… 2.14

where, ̇ = heat generation rate per unit volume (W/m 3 )

C = cement content per unit volume of concrete (kg/m 3 )

N, b and E are constants and their values are determined from experimental data

For defining material model in the computer program, authors utilized previously

published data. Variation of modulus of elasticity with time was calculated from the

following equation:




Here, t is the age of concrete while a and b are constants. Creep of concrete was also

considered and following equation developed by United States Bureau of Reclamation

(USBR, 1956) was implanted in the computer program

(, 0 ) =


0 +

0 = + / 0

0 . log (0 + 1)

… 2.16

… 2.17

where, 0 = modulus of elasticity at initial age t o

0 = coefficient depending on time t o , calculated from above equation

c and d are co-efficient of creep function

Chapter 2

Literature Review

Authors developed two computer programs PFEM_2D T and PFEM_2D AT based on above presented equations in collaboration with Furnas Centrais Electricas S.A. Brazil. This software was applied for thermal stress analysis of the gravity dam at Cana Brava hydroelectric plant in Goias, Brazil.

Observations and Comments:

The model presented by Calmon et-al (2004) is restricted to two dimensional heat transfer problems. Furthermore, un-coupled thermo mechanical analysis is performed i.e. first temperature distributions for all time increments is calculated and later, these values are used in the second software to judge thermal stresses. This uncoupling is cumbersome in terms of data handling within the software.

In addition, this model does not give any method for determining the placement temperatures of concrete which is a major participant in early thermal stresses. Most of the material properties like thermal conductivity, diffusivity, specific heat etc were considered independent of time and temperature. No emphasis was laid on tensile properties of concrete and hence thermal crack propagation was not determined.

Zhang, Zhu and Guo (2004) [28] presented thermal stress simulation and possible crack pattern of 111 m high Mianhuatan RCC dam, China. The authors considered the following equations to simulate material properties of concrete.

() = 0 (1.0 )

… 2.18

where, τ = concrete age, E(τ) = elastic modulus at age τ, E 0 = ultimate elastic modulus, α and β are test parameters.

() = 0 (1.0 )

… 2.19

where, θ(τ) = insulated temperature rise at age τ, θ 0 = ultimate insulated temperature rising. To simulate creep of concrete, authors suggested the following equation:

Chapter 2

Literature Review

(, ) = ( 1 + 2 1 )1 1 () + ( 1 + 2 2 )1 2 () +

3 1 3 ()

… 2.20

In this equation, A 1 , A 2 , B 1 , B 2 , α 1 , α 2 , k 1 , k 2 and k 3 are parameters depending on

experimental data. Authors used compound layer method along with variable time

increments in different regions while modeling Mianhuatan dam on a program developed

by IWHR.

Observations and Comments:

The creep model suggested by authors is very complex involving lots of variables and no

indication has been given to determine these variables from lab testing. Compound layer

method adopted in this study is a powerful tool to reduce number of calculation steps

while assuring accuracy. In this method finer mesh is used at early ages of concrete to

account for minute thermal changes. As time progresses and temperatures attain

somewhat constant values, these fine meshes are merged into larger sized meshes. On

similar pattern, time steps are also changed from smaller time steps at early ages to larger

ones at later. This method is very efficient and reduces calculation time dramatically.

Noorzaei, Ghafouri and Amini (2006) [23] investigated the influence of placement

schedule on thermal stresses of RCC dam. A finite element based computer code named

STARD was developed and following relationships were postulated to determine

temperature gradient and corresponding stresses. These were later applied to calculate

thermal stresses for 169m high Roodbar RCC dam, Iran.

Fourier equation governing thermal generation and temperature distribution for isotropic

2-D environment is

2 2


2 2



where, ρ = density

C = concrete specific heat

… 2.21

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Literature Review


= concrete temperature


= concrete conductivity co-efficient


= rate of heat introducing per unit volume

α = thermal diffusing

Two main boundary conditions for this problem are Drichlet and Couchy boundary as shown below:

T = T p

+ + + ( ) = 0

… 2.22

… 2.23

where T p is the known value of temperatures on nodal points at boundaries, q is the heat flowing from surface, h is the film co-efficient, T s is unknown temperature at the boundary nodal points, T f is ambient temperature, l x and l y are direction cosines.

Authors used the following numerical model originally developed by Taylor and Galerkin for solving these equations.


]{T} = { }


Here [

these matrices are given in Ref [5]. For determination of hydration heat, equation given by M. Ishikawa (1991) for RCC was used

] is the load matrix and { } is the force matrix. Relations for determination of

Q = ρcT ad

… 2.25

where T ad is the adiabatic rise in concrete temperature and is given by:

T ad = K t (1-e -αt )

… 2.26

Here K t is the maximum temperature of concrete under adiabatic conditions and α is a parameter representing heat generation rate. This yields the following equation:

Q = ρc K t αe -αt

… 2.27

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Literature Review

Temperature of RCC while placing is another key factor and authors postulated the following equation for its determination

T casting = T anu -2/3(T anu -T mon ) + Crush Add + Mixing Add + Transporting Add

… 2.28

Adding temperature of aggregate crushing and concrete mixing is generally assumed equal to 1.1 °C. The effect of radiations of newly placed concrete was considered by adding 1°C to the computer model. To account for temperature distribution in rock, it was suggested that heat transfer should be analyzed for temperature data of 2-3 years before starting of construction.

The influence of placing schedules was checked by performing thermal analysis for two different conditions: placement starting on 1 November and placement starting on 1 July. Based on their research, authors concluded that concrete placement starting in summer season will increase tensile stresses near the dam foundations.

Observations and Comments:

The numerical model used by Noorzaei et-al is very elaborate and comprehensive. However, more exact calculations have been put forth by other researchers as will be discussed in the subsequent sections.

Nehrin and Fuji (2001) [21] carried out 3-D finite element thermal analysis using ANSYS/Thermal software for 56.5 m high Hinata Dam, Japan. Mathematical formulation adopted by the authors for this purpose is presented below:

The governing partial differential equation used for 3-D transient thermal conditions in Cartesian coordinates is given by:

= []2 +

Initial conditions adopted for this problem were

lim 0 (, ) = 0 ()

… 2.29

… 2.30

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Literature Review

where P = P(x,y,z) at any point. The boundary conditions prevalent for this problem are stated below:

Prescribed temperature = T(P, t 0) = T’

Prescribed heat flux over the surface, = {} {}

… 2.31

Heat transfer by convection, expressed by Newton’s Cooling law,

{} {} = −ℎ { }

… 2.32

where T b is the bulk temperature of the atmosphere, T is the surface temperature and h c is

the film coefficient and its value given by Froli [1993] for concrete-air interface is:

= 5.6 + 4.0

for V< 5m/s


7.15 0.78

for V ≥ 5m/s

… 2.33

Solar radiation absorbed by the dam surface was expressed as:

{} {} = [ + ]


… 2.34

Here a is the absorptivity of the concrete surface, I d is the direct solar radiation and I i is

indirect (diffused) solar radiation. Determination of absorbed solar radiation is very

complex and so a suitable fictitious temperature T b * called “equivalent atmospheric

temperature” was introduced because it included the effects of both heat from sun and

effects of air temperature. Hence,

{} {} = −ℎ { }


= +

[ + ]

… 2.35

Heat generation due to hydration was given as: " = Ω with Ω(t) being obtained from

curve fitting on experimental data (Tu and Niu, 1998) and was expressed as :

Ω(t) = 28.96(1 e 0.38t ) °C

… 2.36

For determination of thermal stresses and strains, authors cited the work of Lewis,

Morgan and Zeinkiewicz (1981).

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Literature Review

Computer model of the dam section developed on ANSYS/Thermal consisted of 5625 8-

noded, 3-D hexahedral elements with temperature and structural displacements assigned

as DOF for these elements. All initial and boundary conditions were applied to this model

except thermal radiations for which another layer of specialized elements provided in the

software database was superimposed on the previous model. To determine the

requirements of pre-cooling of concrete, three cases were investigated i) T p = T amb + 3°C

(no pre-cooling), ii) T p = T amb (mild pre-cooling) and iii) T p = T amb - 3°C (intense pre-


Observations and Comments:

Results obtained from this thermal study were similar to data obtained from

thermocouples installed at various levels of the dam. Simulation of thermal field by

software ANSYS/Thermal was quiet realistic and comprehensive. Flexibility of modeling

different boundary conditions of the problem is the primary advantage of ANSYS.

However, a few discrepancies in the authors’ work were exclusion of creep effects from

the problem and ignoring material non-linearity which would have returned more precise


One of the most remarkable research works in this subject is carried out by Giesecke, Qin

and Marx (2002) [16] from University of Stuttgart, Germany. They presented a realistic

and computational efficient method to solve temperature and thermal stress problems for

large RCC dams. Numerical model developed by the authors is presented below:

The Fourier differential equation for changing temperature field is given as:








= temperature [°C]


= specific heat [J/(kg.K)]

for x Є Ω, t > 0

ρ = density [kg/m 3 ]

d = dimension of domain

k i = thermal conductivity [W/(m.K)]

… 2.37

Chapter 2

Literature Review

q = rate of heat generation [W/m 3 ]

Heat transfer from the surface of concrete is given by:


n = q H + q L - R n

… 2.38


n = heat flux normal to the surface of structure [W/m 2 ]


H = sensible heat flux through conduction and convection [W/m 2 ] = α c .(T o - T a )

Here α c is the convective heat transfer co-efficient [W/(m 2 .K)], T a is temperature of the

fluid and T o is temperature of the structure surface

q L = latent heat flux through evaporation and condensation [W/m 2 ] based on Penman- Brutsaert Model

R n = net radiation [W/m 2 ] = q G - q E

q G = net incoming short-wave radiation = (1.0 – α G ).G

Here α G is the albedo (reflection coefficient) of the structure surface with respect to global

radiations and G is the global radiation incident upon the structure surface.

q E = net outgoing long-wave radiation = α r .(T o -T a )

α r = ε. σ. (T o 2 + T a 2 )( T o + T a )


α r = radiative heat transfer coefficient [W/(m 2 .K)]

ε = radiation exchange coefficient [-]

σ = Stefan-Boltzmann constant = 5.67035 x 10 -8 [W / (m 2 .K 4 )]

T o = temperature of the surface [K]

T a = temperature of the atmosphere [K]

Summarizing these equations,

q n =(a c +a r )(T o -T a ) + q L –q G = a(T o -T a ) + q L -q G

… 2.39

To represent the adiabatic rise in temperature due to hydration heat, authors derived the

following expressions:

Chapter 2

Literature Review


= = =



… 2.40

Q = rate of hydration heat

T ad = adiabatic temperature rise measured in adiabatic test

= final value of Tad


= hydration degree = /

For a temperature regime different from that under which T ad is measured, ξ can be calculated as

= exp ( )

… 2.41

Here b and n are material constants and t e is the maturity or equivalent age and is calculated as:


exp [ (() )]

… 2.42

Where B is a material constant called temperature sensitivity factor, T ref is the reference


temperature for which maturity equals the real time values. So hydration degree under a

variable temperature regime can be calculated as:



= exp (



exp [(() )]

… 2.43

Authors used the work of Cervera et-al [7] for simulating aging effect on mechanical

properties of concrete. Total strain in concrete was assumed to be a sum of stress related

part (comprising of elastic strain and creep strain ) and stress unrelated part

(comprising of shrinkage strain and thermal strain . This is shown below:

̇ = ̇ + ̇ = ̇ + ̇ + ̇ + ̇

… 2.44

Stress related strain was determined using a rheological model consisting of springs,

Kelvin chains and a single dashpot representing stiffnesses, viscosities and transitional

thermal creep respectively.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

The above described model was incorporated in a finite element program TESAR which was used for calculating temperature field development of Longtan RCC dam in China. To improve the computing efficiencies, authors used adaptive compound layer method and adaptive time step method to control the discretization in space and time respectively. This means that in the regions of freshly placed concrete, temperature and stresses are calculated layer by layer but as time passes, thermal and mechanical properties of concrete in lower regions become somewhat stationary and hence these individual layers can be combined into one thicker layer having coarser mesh.

Due to unavailability of solar radiations data at the site, effects of solar radiation and evaporation were not considered in the analysis. However a parametric study was carried out on 1-D strip model to explore the influence of solar radiation and evaporation on RCC dams. Environmental data was taken from Web Service of National Technical University of Athens. Based on these studies, it was concluded that influence of solar radiation and evaporation on temperature development of RCC is significant. Also the magnitude and distribution of the wind speed have significant effects on the temperature evaluation of early age concrete.

Observations and Comments:

The mathematical model presented herein is very elaborate and quiet realistic. Almost all primary factors involved in the transient temperature problem have been incorporated in this model. However, due to missing site data, effects of solar radiations and evaporation were ignored which has introduced a marginal error of up to 2% in the final results. Many of these equations will be used in the current research also because of the resemblance of environmental and structural features of Longtan Dam China and the proposed Dasu Dam, Pakistan.

Thermal Studies at Diamer Basha Dam:

Diamer Basha dam is located about 60 kms upstream of Dasu dam and as per WAPDA’s vision 2025; it will be constructed prior to Dasu dam. So the preliminary thermal studies carried out during the detail design of Diamer Basha dam are of principal importance in the current research.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

Material testing was not carried out during this study, therefore material properties assumed for the preliminary thermal analysis were based on experience with other projects. Seven trial mixes were assumed having different proportions of cementitious materials (cement, fly ash, slag etc). Heat of hydration and modulus of elasticity were assumed independent of temperature. Following expressions were used in this study [3] :

Initial elastic modulus: = 1.6( ) 3 +

45( ) 2 + 989.4

… 2.45

Splitting strength: = 0.1329

… 2.46

Tensile strength: = 0.3 log(10 ) .

= 0.03987. . log (10 )

… 2.47

Creep function: () = 33.216 ( ) 0.7128

… 2.48

Sustained elastic modulus defined as the equivalent elastic modulus for calculating an elastic quantity (stress or strain) at time t j , due to a disturbance (stress or strain) applied between the time increment from t i to t i+1 was used to calculate varying stresses in the long term. Following formulae was used:

, ,+1 =



, + ,+1 +0.5(() +() +1 ).ln ( 0.5( + +1 )+1.0)


A two stage analyses comprising short time phase (during construction) and long term phase (after completion of construction) was carried out for the project. Simplified 1-D strip model was made for the ‘construction line’ analysis taking account of the time- dependent construction sequence of lifts, placement temperatures, adiabatic rise in temperature, heat exchange between concrete surface and environment only in one direction. For long term phase, 2-D finite element model was built in program EFESYS to analyze effects of temperature dissipation following construction and hydration process until steady state is achieved inside the concrete mass.

Based on these expressions, surface and mass gradient cracking of RCC were estimated and it was concluded that some surface cracking is expected at the upstream and downstream faces. To encounter upstream cracking, special crack control measures will be adopted. Results from this thermal analysis were passed to stability analysis to account for some strength loss within near surface lift zones.

Chapter 2

Literature Review


Researchers and scientists have utilized modern tools and experimentation to further

investigate the influence of physical and chemical properties of RCC on its thermal

behavior. Many expressions and graphs have been developed to represent these time

dependent properties as will be discussed in the proceeding sections:

Eirele (1999) presented a simplified expression for temporal development of static modulus of elasticity in compression of normal weight concrete based on CEB-FIP 1993.

() = ,28




where, E c (t), time dependent modulus [GPa]

E c,28 , modulus at age of 28 days [GPa]

t, concrete age [days]

… 2.50

This expression is only suitable for rough estimation as the model parameters are just

valid for standard concrete and not for low cement roller compacted concretes. To cope

with this matter, Conrad, M. et-al (2004) [10] investigated the effects of modulus of

elasticity of young RCC via experimentation. They tested an RCC mix of 85 + 0 (85

kg/m 3 OPC and 0 kg/m 3 Pozzolan) at ages of 3h, 6h,… up to 365 days. The best

experimental fit of the curve based on the results of these tests is shown below:

() = , . exp(. )

… 2.51

Applying , = ,365 = 24.4 GPa, a = -5.0, b = -0.63, the best fitting of test results could

be achieved by which elastic modulus at early age as well as higher ages could easily be


Bazant (1988) presented a mathematical model for simulation of heat evolution,

shrinkage and creep of concrete. “Shrinkage Core Model” as normally called, gives the

formulation of heat source in terms of concrete maturity.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

(, ) = 1+

… 2.51

The maturity M, is a function of time t and absolute temperature T as:

(, ) = � �


H = Total value of concrete hydration heat per unit volume [kJ/m3]

α = Heat source parameter [1/day]

Q/R = Activation energy / universal gas constant [°K]



� �


… 2.52

T 1 = Reference temperature, normally 20°C = 293 °K

t d = Dormant period [day]

Yang and King (2003) presented experimental measurement of thermal expansion of concrete for six samples with different mix designs. The principal conclusions of their research were that thermal expansion is strongly dependent on the type of coarse aggregate. Cycles of heating and cooling have negligible impact on thermal expansion coefficient values. These values are also dependent on shape of specimen and rate of loading in laboratory.

Table 2.1 gives a tabular summary of different properties of RCC adopted in the design of various RCC dam projects worldwide.

Table 2.1: Properties of RCC material adopted on different dams



of Heat

2 -°C












°C W/mper

60 x 10 -6


9.5 x 10-5

Co-efficient of




10 x 10 -6 11.7 x 10-6


7.8 x 10-6 5.6 x 10-6





8 x 10-6

1 x 10-5

1.8 x 10-6

2.2 x 10-6

2.2 x 10-6


2.2 x 10-6 2.2 x 10-6




2 /hr

















































































Modulus of























-9 (90 days) -42 (Ult.)






-18.3(90 day)

-27.3(90 day)

-11.9(90 day)

-30.8(90 day)






















Flyash kg/mCement































Cindere Dam, Turkey

Cana Brava Dam, Brazil

Rialb Dam, Spain


MianhuatanDam, China

SaltoCaxiasDam, Brazil

Roodbar Dam, Iran

Miyagase Dam, Japan

Hinata Dam, Japan

Milltown Hill Dam, USA


Willow Creek Dam, USA


Portuguese Dam, Portugal

















Page | 28





In this chapter, methodology for carrying out detailed thermo-mechanical ‘TM’ analysis of RCC dams will be presented. All pertinent parameters adopted for this analysis will also be described. Algorithms will be finalized for carrying out 2-D thermal analyses with particular emphasis on selected software. Structural features of Dasu Dam will be described in brief and relevant thermal analysis aspects of this dam will be discussed.


Fig 3.1 represents a flow chart that describes the steps involved in carrying out detailed thermal analysis of dam. Primarily this study incorporates the following steps for carrying out thermo-mechanical analysis.

i. Data Collection and assumptions

ii. Finite Element Modeling

iii. Thermal gradient analysis

iv. Thermal stress analysis

v. Crack Analysis

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

Illustrative Example; Dasu Dam

For elaboration of detailed thermo-mechanical analysis, an illustrative example of Dasu Dam will be presented in this section. Dasu dam is part of ‘Vision 2025’ by Water and Power Development Authority Pakistan to meet the ever-increasing energy needs of the country. Under this project, several small and large dams have been planned across the country. Dasu dam has been placed in the final phase of this project to be commissioned by the year 2025. Feasibility Studies of Dasu Hydropower Project were completed by Joint venture of world renowned consultants including NESPAK, MWH, Colenco, ACE and Binnie in February 2009.

Dasu dam is essentially a roller compacted concrete gravity dam 233m high and having a maximum base width of 213m. Approximate crest length of the dam is 518m. Being a massive structure, having 4.6 million cubic meters of RCC, it was deemed necessary to evaluate the thermal cracking potential of Dasu dam so as to avoid any perilous effects on overall structural stability.

During the feasibility studies, preliminary level thermal analysis of Dasu dam was carried out by the author. This analysis was focused on post-construction thermal behaviour to evaluate any sustained thermal stresses that would have been detrimental for overall stability of the dam. Software MSC.MARC was used to calculate thermal stresses. Uniform material properties were assumed in computer modeling and all these properties were assumed to be time and temperature independent. Results of this analysis were later input in the structural analysis of dam to evaluate factors of safety against stress and stability.

Following are some of the main characteristics of Dasu Dam [18] :

Dam Crest Level Crest Width Crest Length Maximum Dam base width Lowest Foundation Level Upstream Dam Slope Downstream Dam Slope

957 m 13 m 518 m 213.5 m 724 m 0.15H: 1V, 0.2H: 1V 0.75H: 1V

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling


Data Collection & Literature Review

Data Collection & Literature Review
Selection of Appropriate Material properties for Illustrative Example Ambient Environmental Conditions Roller
Selection of
Appropriate Material
properties for
Illustrative Example
Ambient Environmental
Roller Compacted
Concrete Properties
Foundation Properties

Determination of Construction Schedule

Determination of Construction Schedule

Numerical Modeling & Discretization in ANSYS® MultiPhysics

Numerical Modeling & Discretization in ANSYS® MultiPhysics

Non-linear Incremental Structural Analysis (NISA)

Non-linear Incremental Structural Analysis (NISA)
Comparison of Results with Dasu HPP Feasibility Studies

Comparison of Results with Dasu HPP Feasibility Studies

Fig 3.1: Flowchart for Thermo-mechanical Analysis

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

A typical section of the proposed RCC gravity dam at spillway section is given in Fig 3.2:

RCC gravity dam at spillway section is given in Fig 3.2: Fig 3.2: Cross-section of Dasu

Fig 3.2: Cross-section of Dasu Dam [18]


Based on extensive research and data collected from similar projects having synonymous ambient conditions, material properties of RCC have been assumed for this study so as to simulate the actual on-site conditions that will be encountered during construction. Efforts were diverted to select such material properties that have been based on reliable research and can be applied efficiently to a computer model as well. It is worth mentioning that no material testing has been carried out for confirmation of the selected material properties.

3.3.1 Mix Design of RCC

The advent of RCC Dam construction can be traced to the 1980s. The first RCC dam was constructed in Japan. It was conceived along the lines of a conventional concrete dam but with the concrete compacted by roller. Cementitious contents for Japanese RCC Dams have generally been about 130 kg/m 3 , with a 30% fly ash replacement of cement. This dam was closely followed by the Willow Creek and Upper Stillwater dams in the USA. The former featured a dry-lean, low paste, RCC mix with a cement content of less than

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

100 kg/m 3 . The Upper Stillwater dam featured high paste mixes and approximately 60% of cement replacement by fly ash. The intention was to form impermeable mixes with high tensile strengths.

The two approaches of low paste RCC coupled with a waterproof facing and medium to high paste RCC mixes which are themselves sufficiently impermeable, have subsequently dominated RCC dam construction. They are also sometimes considered as representing a soils or geotechnical philosophy versus a concrete philosophy. The soils philosophy considers RCC as a cement-enriched processed soil, or aggregate, whose mix design is based on moisture-density relationships. For the concrete philosophy, the RCC mix is considered to be a true concrete whose strength and other properties follow the water- cement relationship with strength being inversely proportional to its water-cement ratio. The RCC mix should not, however, contain so much paste that a measurable slump is produced or excess paste is brought to the surface with only a few passes of a vibratory roller. Recent trends in RCC mix design have tended towards the concrete philosophy approach.

The fresh and hardened properties of RCC are sensitive to variations in cement and pozzolan properties. A single and consistent source of cement and pozzolan is commonly used. The selection of a pozzolan suitable for RCC should be based on its conformance with ASTM C 618. Some variations beyond the ASTM limits can be allowed provided the pozzolan is consistent in its proportion. Pozzolans meeting the specifications of ASTM C 618 for Class C, Class F, and Class N have been successfully used in RCC mixtures. Class F and Class N pozzolans are usually preferred, since they normally contribute less heat of hydration than Class C and have greater sulphate resistance. The use of pozzolan will depend on required material performance as well as on its cost and availability at the project.

This analysis assumes a cementitious material content of 170kg/m3, comprising 100kg cement and 70kg pozzolanic material which represents 40% replacement of cement. This analogy of 40% cement replacement has already been adopted in Ghazi-Barotha hydropower project and remarkable results have been achieved.

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

3.3.2 RCC Properties Adopted in this Analysis

Following are the mechanical and thermal properties of RCC adopted in this TM analysis:

a) Modulus of Elasticity (E c )

The temporal growth of stiffness and the initial release of the hydration heat in conjunction with the temperature rise of the concrete mass and the present restraint (internal and external) result in moderate compressive temperature stresses. These stresses may be caused by high relaxation of stresses and creep effects in the early age. However, when the hydration process nearly stabilizes and the rate of heat release retards, the temperature of the mass begins to drop. In this phase, the concrete mass has gained a much higher stiffness, so only a small drop of temperature may compensate for the initially built up compressive stresses. Further cooling affects tensile stresses which may exceed the tensile strength and in turn lead to thermal cracking.

For the prediction of thermal cracking in RCC, a better understanding of the temporal development of the Young’s Modulus of Elasticity is required especially in the very early state of curing. In most publications, RCC properties and their temporal evolution are considered to be equal to those of conventional mass concrete. A very well known expression stipulated in literature and experimentally investigated by Conrad, M. et-al [10] has been used in the current TM analysis.

() = , . exp(. )

where, E c (t)

E c,

t = concrete age [days]

α & b are Constants

= time dependent modulus [GPa]

= final modulus of Elasticity at 365 days [GPa]

… 3.1

Based on experimentation, the value of α and b is -5.0 and -0.63. Following is the graphical representation of temporal growth of RCC Modulus.

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

Chapter 3 Computational Strategy & Modeling Fig 3.3: Variation of RCC modulus with Age b) Adiabatic

Fig 3.3: Variation of RCC modulus with Age

b) Adiabatic Heat of Hydration

Heat generation within the concrete mass is an adiabatic phenomenon occurring as a result of hydration process. Amount of heat generated is directly related to the cement content in the concrete mix. In very large concrete mass, temperature near the center of mass will be approximate sum of placement temperature and adiabatic rise due to hydration. Near the surface, peak temperatures will be lower and will be near ambient temperatures.

The adiabatic temperature rise due to hydration heat is based on the following expression published by ASCE (1986) [26] .

T(t) = K (1-e -αt )

… 3.2



= temperature (°C)


= time (Days)

α and K are constants based on unit cement content and placement temperature

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

Values of these constants are obtained from charts developed by Radovanic (1998) from

experiments on several small and medium sized samples. Based on this expression, the

rate of heat generation R(t) is calculated as [26] :

R(t) = K C p γ α e -αt

… 3.3


C p

= Specific heat capacity of RCC (J/g°C)


= Density of concrete (g/m 3 )


= Time (Days)


Surface Heat Transfer Co-efficient (Film Co-efficient)

The surface heat transfer coefficient “h” (film coefficient) is applied to all exposed

surfaces to represent the convection heat transfer effect between the surrounding air and

the concrete surface. The following approximate equation is used to calculate the surface

heat transfer coefficient [14] :

h = h c + h w

… 3.4

where, for a concrete surface, the average value of h c is taken to be 6.0 W/m 2 -°C, and h w

is approximately related to the wind speed “v” as h w = 3.7v (with v in m/s).


Compressive Strength


of compressive strength f c has a direct influence on the modulus of elasticity of

concrete so it is imperative that sufficient compressive strength is assigned to RCC.

Tensile strength is also taken as a percentage of compressive strength and hence adds to

the need for sufficient strength. For the current studies, value of f c has been taken equal

to 20 MPa.

e) Tensile Strength

ACI 207.1R-96 states that mass concrete has sufficient tensile strength and hence the

assumption of ‘Zero tensile strength’ as in reinforced concrete of smaller sized members

Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

may be violated to utilize the benefits inherent to mass concrete. For this reason, different codes present different relations in terms of modulus of rupture of concrete for determining tensile strength. For this analysis, tensile strength value equal to 5% of the ultimate compressive strength has been assumed.

f) Tensile Strain Capacity

For thermal analysis, value of tensile strain capacity is of much more concern than the tensile strength because this particular value will decide the specific location and pattern of thermal cracks in mass concrete. This value depends on the ultimate strength and also on the rate of loading. For conservative approach, value of tensile strain capacity ‘TCS’ has been taken equal to 20 microns or 2 × 10 -5 .

Apart from above stated properties, following are some other properties that were used to calculate thermal stresses in Dasu RCC dam.

Table 3.1: RCC and Rock Foundation Properties Used in the Analysis

Sr. No








Modulus of Elasticity, (MPa)

with Age



Poisson’s Ratio





Unit Weight, (kg/m 3 )





Co-efficient of Thermal Expansion, (per °C)


×10 -6

3.5 ×10 -6


Thermal Conductivity, (W/m.°C)





Specific Heat, (kJ/kg°C)





Film Co-efficient (W/m 2 .°C)








Heat of Hydration Rate (W/m 3 )

with Age



Tensile Strain Capacity


× 10 -5


Chapter 3

Computational Strategy & Modeling

3.3.3 Climatic Variations

For Dasu dam, mean monthly average temperatures data for the past 30 years has been used. Following are the main climatological parameters observed at Besham Qila located about 85 km downstream of Dasu dam site which have been adopted for this analysis:

Table 3.2: Ambient Temperatures [3,18]




Temperature (°C)











21.7 3.3





27.8 2.2