JOURNAL OF MATERIALS IN CIVIL ENGINEERING, vol.24, no.4, pp.321-329, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
Using experimental methods, this study presents the estimation of the dynamic and static ( secant) elasticity modules of a prototype arch dam. These experimental methods are ambient vibration tests, uniaxial compression tests, and ultrasonic velocity tests. Implementation of the methods on a prototypical arch dam-reservoir-foundation model of the dam, constructed under laboratory conditions, allows estimation of the elasticity modules. Random impact loads excite the arch dam during ambient vibration testing, which creates response signals for measurement. Commercially available software transfers the signals, and processing those signals allows estimation of the experimental natural frequencies of the arch dam. Analysis of a three-dimensional (3D) finite element model (FEM) of the arch dam determines natural frequencies. The estimation of the elasticity modules of the arch dam arises from a comparison of the experimental and analytical frequencies. The uniaxial compression tests use several specimens of the fresh and hardened concrete of the prototype model, and those tests provide the compressive strengths and stress-strain relationships. The ultrasonic velocity tests apply several velocity measurements to the arch dam and foundation, resulting in estimation of the elasticity modulus from empirical equations related to concrete mix design, compressive strength, and velocity values. This study discusses the difficulties of the determination of the elasticity modulus and suggests that ambient vibration testing and the finite element method are useful for overcoming these difficulties. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000361. (C) 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.