The analysis and design of inflatable dams
An alternative method to overcome the high cost and time
required for the design, analysis, construction and operating
of a conventional water control structure is an inflatable dam.
The basic aim of this project is to study both theoretically
and experimentally the behaviour and performance of inflatable
dams under hydrostatic and hydrodynamic conditions and to
develop a design method.
A finite element approach is developed in order to analyse
air, water and a combination of air and water inflated dams to
determine the shape and tension of the membrane of the dam
under hydrostatic and hydrodynamic conditions.
A series of models of inflatable dams were constructed and
tested under hydrostatic and hydrodynamic conditions. The
shapes of these models were compared with the theoretical shapes
obtained from the theoretical analysis. The comparison shows
there was a good relationship between the experimental and
A new formula was derived for calculating the rate of flow
over the air, water and air/water inflated dams theoretically.
This develops the potential for applying an inflatable dam as
a device for measuring discharge.
A design technique for a dam was developed to design air,
water and air/water inflated dams under hydrostatic conditions.
This,technique can be used for the design of dams with different
geometry of base length.
computer programs were written for the analysis and
design of the dams based on the finite element approach and
considerable efforts were undertaken to simplify the input data
and the output results. A sub-program was developed to provide
the results in graphic form if required.