Dam structures in the infrastructure sector as well as in hydraulic engineering and flood protection are predominantly made out of coarse-grained or mixed-grained fill materials. The use of fine-grained fill materials is only in the case of zone dams as a sealing core at hydraulic engineering and flood protection projects more common. The reason for using mainly coarse-grained and mixed-grained fill materials in dam construction lies primarily in the higher shear strength that can be achieved as well as the easier installation and compactibility of such fill materials. If the water content is too high, for example, fine-grained soils can hardly be compacted, or only at great additional expense, so that it is difficult to prove that the quality meets the current guidelines. Current regulations, such as RVS 08.03.01, also regulate the installation and quality requirements for fine-grain-dominated fill materials, but in practice it has been shown that the required quality can often only be achieved to a limited extent during installation. Furthermore, the proof of quality of the installed soil body itself is usually more demanding than with coarse-grained fill materials. This observation is also reflected in an increased number of dam failures made out of fine-grained soils, with typical damage symptoms being erosion, stability problems in the embankment area and, in some cases, settlements in the fill itself. The use of fine-grain-dominated fill materials for dam construction will play an increasingly important role in Austria in the future in order to conserve resources of higher quality like increasingly costly coarse-grained earth materials. Additionally, fine-grained embankments benefit sustainability and environmental protection by shortening transportation routes when using the in-situ, fine-grained materials directly on site. For this reason, the improvement and further development of dam construction using those soils is of fundamental importance. The planned research project aims to significantly expand and improve the applicability of fine-grained soils for dam construction. On the one hand, the usability of such materials and any necessary soil improvement measures are to be investigated and, on the other hand, the methods of quality assurance are to be expanded and optimized in terms of effectivity. In addition, these considerations and the methods and concepts developed are to be investigated and validated by installing monitoring systems and constructing test dams on a large scale.
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG) , FFG
  • Bundeskammer der Ziviltechniker:innen | Arch+Ing, ZT
Externe Partner
  • Bundeskammer der Ziviltechniker:innen | Arch+Ing, ZT
Beginn: 31.10.2023
Ende: 30.10.2024