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Applied Mechanics and Materials Online: 2013-01-11

ISSN: 1662-7482, Vols. 275-277, pp 1544-1548


doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.275-277.1544
© 2013 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland

Influence of Concrete Tension Softening Properties on the Steel-liner


Reinforced Concrete Penstock
Hailin Wu 1, a, Xiaofan Du 1, Shihe Qin 2,b, Yao Li 3,cand Qun Li 1
1
College of Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering of Three Gorges University, Yichang, 443002,
China
2
Guodian Dadu River Houziyan Hydropower Construction Co.,Ltd, Kangding, 626005, China
3
Huaneng Lancang River Hydropower Co.,Ltd,Kunming, 650214,China
a
wuhailinwhl@163.com, bshihemaster@126.com

Keywords: steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock, tension softening properties of concrete,


damage, ABAQUS.

Abstract. In combination with the practice of a large hydropower station, concrete damaged
plasticity model is introduced into the steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock for the nonlinear
analysis, the damage distribution rules of the surrounding concrete and the stresses of the steels are
furtherly studied under the different tension softening characteristic curves, the conclusions can
provide the reference for damage assessment of the surrounding concrete and the optimization
allocation of the reinforcement for the penstock.

Introduction
Steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock has wide application prospects, especially in medium and
large hydropower stations in recent years. It is a composite structure which is made up of steel liner
and reinforced concrete and also a typical large reinforced concrete structure with complicated
bearing conditions. Especially for the steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock with high head and
large diameter, its working mechanism is more complex. On the basis of the reinforced concrete
nonlinear finite element method, many research works have been done and achievements have been
made in view of the different large steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock structures, especially in
the bearing properties and failure mechanism of the penstocks[1]-[5].
However, For not considering the concrete tension softening characteristic in nonlinear analysis of
steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock in the past time, and can not reflect the bearing rules of
quasi-brittle material; meanwhile, in view of the complexity of the structure and little consideration of
the interaction between the reinforcement and concrete, and in combination with the practice of the
steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock in a hydropower station, finite element simulation model is
established in this paper; the influences of concrete tension softening characteristic curves on damage
distribution laws and damage evolution process of surrounding concrete as well as the stress
distribution laws of steel are researched, which can provide the reference for the damage assessment
and reinforcement optimization of the penstock engineering.

Finite element model and material parameters


Finite element model and calculation parameters. Steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock which
lies in shallow troughs on downstream surface of the dam is adopted in a large hydropower station.
The diameter of the penstock is 12.4 m and HD is 1730 m2. 16 MnR steel is used as steel-liner
materials. The thickness of steel liner and surrounding concrete are 34 mm and 2 m respectively.
Strength grade of surrounding concrete is C25, what’s more, circumferential reinforcement is
φ36@19 with 3 layers. 30mmPS foam plastic cushion is set only in the side groove joints between
penstock and dam. The concrete strength grades of transition zone and dam body are C20 and C15
respectively. Material parameters are shown in table 1.

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Applied Mechanics and Materials Vols. 275-277 1545

Table 1 Material parameters


Designed tensile
Density Poisson’ Designed compressive
Material name Elasticity Modulus (GPa) strength
(kN/m3) ratio strength (MPa)
(MPa)
C25 25 28 0.167 1.3 12.5
C20 24 25.5 0.167 1.1 10
C15 24 22 0.167 0.9 7.5
16MnR 78.5 206 0.3 300 300
reinforcement 78.5 205 0.3 310 310
cushion materials 200 0.001 0.3 9.4 —

Taking the inclined straight cross-section in the middle of penstock near the platform as the
research subject, and then the numerical calculation model is established, the layout of the penstock
is shown in Fig.1. The different element types are used in different structures. In which, the eight
nodes hexahedron elements are adopted in concrete, 2D 4 nodes shell elements are adopted in steel
liner and two nodes beam elements are adopted in reinforcement. The number of the elements is up to
1266, it consists of 954 concrete elements, 72 steel-liner elements and 240 reinforcement elements by
using finite element method. Additionally, the number of nodes is up to 2348. The integral finite
element model is given in Fig. 2. Descartes rectangular coordinates is adopted and the intersection of
0.0m elevation datum is located in the center of penstock cross-section; the horizontal direction
perpendicular to penstock axis is X-axis and the right of the ordinate axis direction is positive; vertical
direction is Y-axis and it is positive upwards. The internal water pressure and the structural dead
weight are mainly included in the calculation.

Fig. 1 Layout of the penstock Fig. 2 Finite element model


Calculation schemes. It is a quite difficult thing to accurately simulate the interaction between the
reinforcement and concrete. Based on the displacement coordination of reinforcement and concrete,
the buried reinforcement model is used in this paper to simulate the reinforcement of the concrete. On
this basis, integrated element stiffness matrix is combined by the contribution of concrete and
reinforcement to the element stiffness matrix in buried reinforcement model. This model suggests
that bonding between the reinforcement and concrete is good before cracking, at the same time,
concrete softening properties is considered and the softening effect is determined by the decline part
of concrete stress-strain relationship for the cracking concrete. According to the specification [6], the
curve between stress of concrete tension softening post-peak part and cracking displacement in the
calculation is determined, the bond-slip relationship and dowel action of concrete and reinforcement
are also simulated through the concrete tension softening relationship. And then, the other schemes of
tension softening characteristic curves are determined by changing the concrete brittleness of scheme
3. All the tension softening characteristic curves are showed in Fig. 3 and the curve of scheme 3 is
mapped according to the specification.
In the course of calculation, it is on the basis of the large finite element software ABAQUS,
concrete damage plasticity model based on damage mechanics theory plays an important role in
nonlinear analysis of the reinforced concrete structures. The concrete inelastic behaviors are
expressed by the isotropic damage elastic combined with isotropic tensile and compressive plastic
1546 Applied Mechanics and Materials I

model[7]. The damage mechanics is applied into concrete damage plasticity model to response the
structure performance. The irreversible damage variable is also introduced into concrete model. At
the same time, concrete elastic stiffness matrix is reduced in order to simulate the rigidity of the
concrete decreasing when damage increases. In addition, according to the energy equivalent
hypotheses in damage mechanics theory, the relationship between concrete tensile damage variables
and concrete cracking strain is obtained, as shown in Fig. 4. Ideal elastoplastic model is used in steel
liner and reinforcement; moreover, reinforcement is embedded into the concrete.

Fig. 3 Concrete tensile softening curve Fig. 4 Concrete tensile damage curve
Nonlinear finite element analysis
Cracking analysis of the surrounding concrete. Based on the damage theory, when the tensile
damage factor is 0, it shows the concrete is in nondemaged states; when the tensile damage factor is
greater than 0, it shows the concrete appears damage region, which probably exists micro-cracks;
when tensile damage factor reaches 1, it represents the concrete damages completely. According to
the previous research achievements: For tensile damage, when the strength of concrete reduced to
50% of the peak value, it can be concluded concrete structure appears macro-cracks for the tensile
failure, the damage factor is about 0.5 correspondingly[8]. The calculation results show that the
surrounding concrete appears different degree damage, especially waist outside and top inside of the
penstock are obvious under the action of the internal water pressure and other loads, and macroscopic
cracks will appear in these areas. In a word, the steeper of the concrete softening curve, the more
serious of the concrete damage and the greater the damage range. Meanwhile, the concrete damage
degree and the scope of damage is different because of different concrete tension softening curves.
The maximum damage value of scheme 1 to 5 are 0.92, 0.88, 0.83, 0.79 and 0.68 respectively; in
addition, the number of elements which appear macro-cracks in the surrounding concrete are 195,
163, 111, 70 and 22 respectively. The regions which appears macro-cracks of the surrounding
concrete from scheme 1 to scheme 5 are showed in Fig. 5.

Scheme 1 Scheme 2 Scheme 3

Scheme 4 Scheme 5
Fig. 5 Macro crack elements of the surrounding concrete in different schemes

Stresses of steel liner and reinforcement. According to the nonlinear finite element calculation
results, the stresses of steel liner and reinforcement in cross-section feature points of the penstock are
listed, as shown in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7. It can be seen form Fig. 6 that the maximum stresses of the steel
liner and inner circumferential reinforcement occur at the top of the penstock; while the maximum
Applied Mechanics and Materials Vols. 275-277 1547

stresses of the middle and outer circumferential reinforcement occur at the waist of the penstock and
the minimum stresses occur at the bottom of the penstock. At the top and bottom of the penstock,
circumferential reinforcement stress decreases gradually from the inside to the outside; while at the
waist of the penstock, outer circumferential reinforcement stress is greater than the corresponding
inner circumferential reinforcement stress. What’s more, it’s can be seen from Fig. 7 that the
reinforcement stress is different because of the different concrete tension softening curve at the same
locations of the reinforcement. For different locations of the steel, the level of stress improvement is
different because of the different cracking degree of the surrounding concrete. In general, different
concrete tension softening curves have notable effect on the stress of the steel liner and reinforcement
for steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock; that is, the steeper the concrete tension softening curve is,
the higher of the steel stress level. In the normal operating conditions, the stresses of steel and inner
circumferential reinforcement are respectively 61.24MPa, 48.48MPa in the scheme 1, which located
at the top of the penstock; while the stresses of middle and outer circumferential reinforcement are
respectively 45.14MPa, 48.52MPa, which located at the waist of the penstock; although the stresses
of steel-liner and circumferential reinforcement in the other schemes are lower than scheme 1’s in the
corresponding location, the maximum stress occurs at the same position. In conclusion, the existing
steel configuration has enough emergency capacity to ensure the safety operation of the penstock.
However, the stress of steel at the bottom of the penstock is very low and the strength of the
reinforcement is not displayed adequately. So the different steel configuration is suggested along the
circumference in the same section to utilize reinforcement economically and effectively. And the
optimization of the reinforcement is required to further study on.

Fig. 6 Stress distributions of the steel liner and circumferential reinforcement in scheme 3

(a)Stress of the steel liner (b)Stress of the inner reinforcement

(c) Stress of the middle reinforcement (d) Stress of the outer reinforcement
Fig. 7 Stress distributions of the steel liner and circumferential reinforcement (MPa)
1548 Applied Mechanics and Materials I

Conclusions
The finite element calculation results show that the concrete in the inside part of the top and the
outside part of the waist appeared macroscopical crack in the designed loads, so it should be paid
more attention; what’s more, steel stress level is low, the penstock has the sufficient safety reserves.
Different concrete tension softening curves have notable effect on damage distribution rules of the
surrounding concrete as well as the stress of the steel liner and reinforcement for steel-liner reinforced
concrete penstock. Finite element contrast results show that: the steeper of the concrete softening
curve, the more serious of the concrete damage, the greater the damage range and the higher of the
steel stress level.
In order to give full play to the strength of steel and optimize the allocation of steel, the different
steel configuration is suggested along the circumference in the same section. It can reduce the amount
of steel with the small stress at the bottom of the penstock in order to save cost, especially for large
steel-liner reinforced concrete penstock, the economic benefit is more obvious.

Acknowledgements
The research presented above are supported by the Natural Science Fund of Hubei Province (NO.
2010CDB10802), the authors would like to express thanks for their supports.

References
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[3] Hailin Wu, Hegao Wu, Congbao Wang. Nonlinear finite element analysis of steel lined
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[4] Yuxin Dong, Yanshuo Li: Structure analysis of hydroelectric power engineering (Dalian
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Applied Mechanics and Materials I
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Influence of Concrete Tension Softening Properties on the Steel-Liner Reinforced Concrete Penstock
10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.275-277.1544