Research Papers: Design and Analysis

A Full 3D Finite Element Model for Buckling Analysis of Stiffened Steel Liners in Hydroelectric Pressure Tunnels

[+] Author and Article Information
J. L. G. Valdeolivas

Hydropower Division,
Gas Natural Fenosa Engineering,
C/Acanto n° 11 (Edif. A Planta1a)
Madrid 28045, Spain
e-mail: jlgarciav@gasnatural.com

J. C. Mosquera

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid,
ETS Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos,
C/Profesor Aranguren s/n Madrid 28040, Spain

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology. Manuscript received June 6, 2012; final manuscript received April 12, 2013; published online October 7, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Spyros A. Karamanos.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 135(6), 061205 (Oct 07, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: PVT-12-1078; doi: 10.1115/1.4024445 History: Received June 06, 2012; Revised April 12, 2013

The availability of tools for safety evaluation of a pressure liner is a relevant issue in both structural and hydraulic engineering. A numerical procedure for assessing the stability of a stiffened steel liner in a hydroelectric pressure tunnel is presented in this paper. First, a review of some analysis methods for steel liners is outlined. Relevant aspects for the critical buckling pressure assessment are considered, specifically boundary conditions and geometric imperfections. General 2D and 3D nonlinear finite element modeling procedures, including large displacements formulation are presented. Some relevant factors in the liner response, such as the annular gap, the stiffeners, and the interaction with the elastic medium surrounding the steel liner are taken into account. As a result, some simple modeling guidelines for thin-walled steel pressure liners are depicted. Also, some conclusions regarding the influence of stiffeners as well as of the surrounding medium are drawn. The procedure is applied to an actual steel tunnel liner which failed by global instability in 2010 in Spain. The aim is to simulate the causes of collapse as well as to draw some design criteria.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Geometric definition of a steel liner layout

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Fig. 2

Gap contact-type element

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Fig. 3

View of damaged steel liner pressure tunnel

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Fig. 4

Hydroelectric pressure tunnel longitudinal profile of case study

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Fig. 5

Pressure versus radial displacement (Uy) at the node located at the top of the cylinder, where geometrical imperfection is applied, for several stiffness values of the backfill (k). D/t = 285.7.

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Fig. 6.

Pressure versus Radial Displacement (Uy) for various liner thicknesses

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Fig. 7

Buckling pressure results obtained from several approaches

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Fig. 8

Buckled mode shape for a 2.500 mm-long shell model

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Fig. 11

Pressure-radial displacement (Uy) curve for a constrained stiffened liner. D/t = 285.7.

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Fig. 12

Buckling deformation of stiffened liner (single lobe)

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Fig. 13

Comparison of FEM results (either connector or stiffener behavior) with the Jacobsen and the Roark formulations (Stiffened-encased steel liner with L/D = 0.63, g/D = 0.00015)



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