How to Tackle AAR in Dams

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1. Clarify the role of time, temperature, confinement, concrete mixes and RH in the kinetics of the reaction

2. Describe the consequences of AAR at the micro (swelling, cracking, deterioration) and macro (structural cracking)

3. Monitoring: beyond pendulum, what should be recorded.


4. Testing particular to AAR (expansion, deterioration)

5. How to analyze test data to attempt prediction of future expansion 

6. 3D Mapping of expansion

Finite Element Analysis

7. Identification of clear, reasonable, and achievable objectives before analysis

8. Must have capabilities in the code (importance of validation)

9. Data collection 

10. Results interpretation

11. Back-calculation of AAR expansion characteristics from pendulum recordings and FEA

12. Connection of past and future expansion13.Prediction of future expansion/damage and probabilistic risk assessment (i.e. shall we wait for decommission)

Top Takeaways

1. What is the State of the Art (as opposed to State of the Practice) in AAR dam investigation 

2. Are there innovative laboratory tools for AAR

3. What should a FEA entail

Prof. Victor Saouma

Professor, Civil Engineering

University of Colorado, Boulder

Victor E. Saouma is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has 40+ years of academic experience, has been working on fracture mechanics, alkali silica reaction, and their impact on the seismic safety assessment of dams and nuclear reactors. As a long-term project he developed a finite element code Merlin for seismic and aging analysis of dams with detailed nonlinear material models, soil-water-dam interaction, thermal and AAR analysis. He is currently working on a Seminoe Dam project funded by USBR.

Prof. Saouma and Dr. Hariri have together more than 100 publications in Dam Engineering with over 3000 citations. Their team is currently one of the pioneers in probabilistic analysis and uncertainty quantification of dams in the world. 

They recently published a book by Springer-Nature on A-to-Z analysis of concrete dams and nuclear structures. The book is written in 36 chapters and 1100+ pages and covers a wide range of theoretical and applied contents in the analysis and assessment of dams. Link: 


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02/16/2022 at 10:00 AM (MST)  |  120 minutes
02/16/2022 at 10:00 AM (MST)  |  120 minutes
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2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available