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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8523213, 15 pages
Research Article

Modeling of Hydraulic Fracture of Concrete Gravity Dams by Stress-Seepage-Damage Coupling Model

1Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Guoxin Zhang

Received 28 November 2016; Revised 14 February 2017; Accepted 22 February 2017; Published 23 April 2017

Academic Editor: Giovanni Garcea

Copyright © 2017 Sha Sha and Guoxin Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High-pressure hydraulic fracture (HF) is an important part of the safety assessment of high concrete dams. A stress-seepage-damage coupling model based on the finite element method is presented and first applied in HF in concrete dams. The coupling model has the following characteristics: (1) the strain softening behavior of fracture process zone in concrete is considered; (2) the mesh-dependent hardening technique is adopted so that the fracture energy dissipation is not affected by the finite element mesh size; (3) four coupling processes during hydraulic fracture are considered. By the damage model, the crack propagation processes of a 1 : 40 scaled model dam and Koyna dam are simulated. The results are in agreement with experimental and other numerical results, indicating that the damage model can effectively predict the carrying capacity and the crack trajectory of concrete gravity dams. Subsequently, the crack propagation processes of Koyna dam using three notches of different initial lengths are simulated by the damage model and the coupling model. And the influence of HF on the crack propagation path and carrying capacity is studied. The results reveal that HF has a significant influence on the global response of the dam.