Vibration Analysis of Single - Anchor Inflatable Dams


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Virginia Tech


Inflatable dams are flexible, cylindrical structures anchored to a foundation. They are used for a variety of purposes, e.g. diverting water for irrigation or groundwater recharging, impounding water for recreational purposes, and raising the height of existing dams or spillways.

The vibration behavior of such dams is analyzed. Single-anchor inflatable dams with fins are considered. First, a static analysis is performed which yields the equilibrium shapes of the dam, both in the presence and absence of water. Then, a dynamic analysis is undertaken which analyzes the small vibrations of the inflatable dam about the equilibrium configuration, both in the presence of water (hydrostatic water as well as parallel flowing water) and absence of water.

The dam is modeled as an elastic shell. It is assumed to be air-inflated and resting on a rigid foundation. The cross-sectional perimeter, material thickness, modulus of elasticity, and Poisson's ratio are given. The analysis is performed for different values of internal pressure and external water heads.

Initially, the dam is assumed to lie flat. The internal pressure is then increased slowly until it reaches the desired value. Then the external water is applied and the equilibrium configuration is obtained. Small vibrations about this configuration are considered. The water is assumed to be inviscid and incompressible, and potential theory is used. The infinite-frequency limit is assumed on the free surface. A boundary element technique is utilized to determine the behavior of the water, and the finite element program ABAQUS is used to analyze the structural behavior. Both the cases of fluid at rest and flowing parallel to the dam are considered. The vibration frequencies and mode shapes are computed. The effect of the internal pressure of the dam is investigated, and the results are compared to those for the dam in the absence of external water.



Finite element method, contact analysis, inflatable dams