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Slope Layer Method for the construction of RCC Dams

Slope Layer Method for the construction of RCC Dams

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Published by: nibbi1 on Feb 15, 2010
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USE OF THE SLOPED LAYER METHOD FOR BONDED JOINTS ON TANNUR RCC DAM, JORDAN 
ANCOLD 2003 Conference on Dams Page 1
USE OF THE SLOPED LAYER METHOD FOR BONDED JOINTS ON TANNUR RCC DAM, JORDAN
Tony Qiu
1
and Brian A. Forbes
2
ABSTRACT
The RCC design review and construction
 phase services
of the 60m high Tannur Dam in Jordan was carried out by GHD, Australia.The 220,000m
3
of RCC was placed during February-December 2000; the change to the sloped layer method was made once the dam reached 15m height. It produced a 50% increase in placing rate and a considerable saving in costs.The use of the method is the first known use outside of China, where it was developed during theconstruction of the 130m high Jiangya Dam in 1997-8. The sloping of the 300mm thick layers of RCC acrossthe dam from bank to bank at grades between 5-8% ensures subsequent layers of RCC can be placed withinthe initial set time of the lower layer and hence the RCC is monolithic across the lift joint.This paper briefly describes the project in Jordan and then gives specific details of the use of the sloped layer method. Typical results from the quality control testing during placement and subsequent coring and testing of the lift joints are also provided. The benefits of its use in adverse climatic conditions, such asextreme heat or rainfall and the ways it can be integrated with forming the upstream-downstream slope arealso discussed.The sloped layer method is a significant advancement, particularly for large structures, where lift joint cohesion, tensile resistance and RCC placing rates are vitally important.
1 Introduction
Tannur Dam is a 60m high, 250m long Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) gravity dam with areservoir capacity of 17 million cubic metres. It islocated in Jordan on the Wadi Al Hasa about30km east of the Dead Sea and 50km south of thetown of Karak. The dam provides irrigation water to the Southern Ghors Irrigation Scheme andindustrial water for the local area.The owner of the dam is the Jordan ValleyAuthority of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation,Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan. The constructioncontract was awarded in February 1999. RCC placing began in January 2000 and was completedin December 2000. Construction of the dam wascompleted in 2001. It is the first RCC dam inMiddle East.Design review and modifications, construction
 phase services
and contract administration for 
the
Tannur Dam were carried out by a joint venture
of 
Mott MacDonald, UK and GHD, Australia
in
association with the Consulting
Engineering
Centre (CEC) of Jordan. GHD were
responsible
for RCC aspects of the project.The main construction contractor was the jointventure of BEC Freres and Camperon Bermard of France, with Al-Jafar, the locally based sub-contractor.
2 Project Description
The location, typical section and layout of thedam are shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3 respectively.The dam is located in a highly seismic area near the Dead Sea Fault and founded on interbeddedmarls and limestone of only moderate strength.Total RCC volume 220,000m
3
was placed duringJanuary and December 2000. RCC mixes beganwith a 125kg/m
3
OPC and 75kg/m
3
pozzolan blend; adjustments were made as construction proceeded and representative results becameavailable. The last 50 percent of the RCC to be
1
Senior Dams Engineer, GHD
2
Manager, Dams Engineering, GHD
 
 
USE OF THE SLOPED LAYER METHOD FOR BONDED JOINTS ON TANNUR RCC DAM, JORDAN 
ANCOLD 2003 Conference on Dams Page 2
Figure 1 – Locality planFigure 3 – Tannur Dam layout
 placed used a 120/50kg/m
3
blend. Daratard P2retarder was used in the RCC mix, and a dose rateof 1 l/m
3
was used throughout the construction based on earlier laboratory RCC trial studies. Theretarder extended the workable life and reducedthe free water content of the mix for the sameworkability, with the lower water/cement (W/C)ratio giving a higher cementitious efficiency.
Figure 2 – Typical Dam cross-section
 
USE OF THE SLOPED LAYER METHOD FOR BONDED JOINTS ON TANNUR RCC DAM, JORDAN 
ANCOLD 2003 Conference on Dams Page 3RCC was transported from the mixing plant to thedam wall via a system of Rotec conveyors anddischarged with a "swinger". The conveyors wererelocated progressively as the dam wall rose. TheRCC was transported from the swinger to thedumping point by three-25 tonne Volvo A25C6WD dump trucks. They were fitted with smooth profile tyres which helped to minimise damage tofresh RCC surfaces. Chutes were welded to thesides of the tray to prevent spillage as the swinger was moved from the full truck to the empty onealongside.Grout enriched RCC (GE-RCC) was used in allthe upstream face, downstream steps including the180m wide stepped spillway section, gallerywalls, waterstop encasement and the interface between the RCC and limestone rock abutments.
3 Development andIntroduction of The SlopedLayer Method
The Sloped Layer Method (SLM) of placing RCCwas first developed and adopted in Jiangya Damin China (Forbes, 1999). A number of projects inChina, such as Mianhuatan and Dachaoshan dams,adopted the sloped layer method after successfulapplication of SLM in Jiangya Dam.A detailed development and the procedure of theSloped Layer Method has been described byForbes (2002).The interest in RCC dams is driven by economicconsiderations and also where speed of construction is an important element. However this often compromises quality and water tightness, as shown by many RCC dams. Asignificant difference between a conventionally placed concrete dam and a roller compactedconcrete dam are the number of horizontalconstruction joints. Horizontal joints areinevitable in RCC dams because of the layeredmethod of construction. Each layer is thethickness of material compacted. In order toachieve required compacted densities by roller compaction, RCC layer thickness is typicallymaintained at 0.3m, whilst for internally vibratedconventional concrete, layers are typically 1.5m,i.e. 5 times more layer joints occur with RCC.The performance of an RCC dam will almostentirely be dictated by the performance of thehorizontal joints between layers. The adhesion between layers of RCC is produced by twomechanisms, cementitious bond and penetrationof aggregate from the new layer into the surfaceof the previously placed layer. Layer joints alwaysexhibit lower tensile strength, shear strength andimpermeability than the RCC. This is due toageing of lift surface concrete, tendency for segregation of the overlying RCC at the joint andthe potential for lower rolled density at depth.In order to achieve homogeneous, monolithicRCC across a layer joint the overlying layer must be placed within the initial set time of the lower layer. It is impossible to achieve the time framerequired to place a horizontal layer from oneabutment across the other in major dams.The Sloped Layer Method is used to construct liftsof multiple layers. RCC is placed in layersapproximately 300mm thick for a total liftthickness of 3 to 4m. At Tannur Dam 1.2m liftswere used. With the Sloped Layer Method, eachlayer is placed at an inclination of approximately1:10 to 1:20 instead of the typical horizontalorientation. The length of the slope depends onthe plant capacity and production rate with typicalslope lengths of 20 to 40m. A sloped layer is placed over the full width of the placement andthe layers progress the full length of the placement. The primary goal of this method is tominimise the exposure of fresh RCC lift until it iscovered with the next sloped layer. Beddingmortar is placed on the mature RCC lift surface prior to placing the next lift. The Sloped Layer Method is shown in Figure 4.Placing a sloped layer generally involvescommencing at the downstream face and movingacross to the upstream face (or visa versa),working on the full height of the layer andcompacting up-down slope. At lower elevations,where the sloped layer is wide enough, the placement area can be roughly divided into subareas, placing commencing on the downstream (or upstream) third and progressing through thecentral and upstream thirds with the placing – spreading – compacting operations occurringaccordingly.Using this method the final clean up and surface preparation of the lower lift, including applicationof bedding mortar, is restricted to a narrow stripalong the toe of the sloped layer. The width of thestrip varies with the slope.

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