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RETRACTED ARTICLE: Research on Construction Risks and Countermeasures of Concrete Dam

This article was retracted on 02 June 2022

This article has been updated

Abstract

The harsh environment will reduce the interlayer bonding quality of mass concrete and cause plastic cracking. These defects will seriously affect the safety and durability of the structure. This study tested the layer state (water content and penetration resistance), interlayer mechanical properties, and early-age crack resistance of concrete to evaluate the impact of extreme weather on concrete interlayer properties and crack resistance. Furthermore, the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete under different treatment measures (covering insulation quilts and artificial grooves) was analyzed to find a method to reduce the construction risk of mass concrete. At the same time, the early-age crack resistance of concrete under different treatment measures (covering insulation quilts and adding PVA fibers) was evaluated. The results showed that the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete decreased by 50%, 40%, 29%, and 70%, respectively, compared with bulk concrete under extreme weather conditions (high temperature, strong winds, steep descent in temperature, and short-time heavy rainfall). Covering insulation quilts can reduce the construction risk of concrete under extreme weather conditions such as high temperature, strong winds and steep descent in temperature. This is mainly due to the fact that insulation quilt reduces the impact of the external environment on the concrete and effectively prevents the evaporation of moisture inside the concrete. In addition, covering insulation quilts can reduce the total cracking area of concrete under extreme weather conditions (strong winds and dry-heat, strong winds and cold waves, and short-time heavy rainfall) by 85–100%. At the same time, adding PVA fibers can inhibit the generation and expansion of micro-cracks on the concrete surface. This is due to the bridging and cracking resistance of PVA fibers.

Introduction

Mass concrete is poured in layers, which leads to interlayer of concrete becoming a weak part. The deterioration of interlayer bonding properties will seriously affect the durability and stability of the structure. To ensure the safety of the structure, it is necessary to strictly control the interlayer bonding quality of mass concrete.

Interval time substantially impacts the interlayer bonding properties of mass concrete. Research showed that the compressive strength (Karimpour, 2010), interlayer splitting tensile strength (Xu, 2017), shear strength (Liu et al., 2018) and impermeability (Lou, 2015; Qian & Xu, 2018a) of concrete decreased with the extension of interval time. In addition, temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed are also the key factors affecting the construction quality of mass concrete. Xu et al. (2017) studied the effects of different wind speeds on the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete. The results revealed that a dry and windy environment substantially reduced the interlayer mechanical properties of concrete. Liu et al. (2021) investigated the effects of ambient temperature on the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete. The results showed that the interlayer splitting tensile strength decreased with increased temperature. Ribeiro (2001) found that the interlayer bonding strength of concrete was reduced with a decrease in relative humidity. Moreover, it was found that low curing humidity also harmed the fracture properties of concrete (Mi et al., 2018, 2019). Niu et al. (2020) studied the effects of temperature and wind speed on the microstructure of layered concrete. The results showed that high temperatures and strong winds accelerated the evaporation of water on the surface of concrete, which led to a coarsening effect in the pore structure near the concrete layer. Further, the increase of harmful pores deteriorated the interlayer bonding properties of concrete.

The harsh environment can not only significantly decrease the interlayer properties of concrete, but also increase the risk of early-age cracking of concrete. Zhang et al. (2020) studied the influence of different wind speeds (0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m/s) and closed curing time (0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 h) on the shrinkage rate of cement paste at early age. The results showed that for the specimens without sealing curing, the wind speed increased the dry shrinkage of cement paste. Wind speed could also reduce the tensile strength, cracking strain, and hydration degree of cement paste. In addition, sealing curing can significantly reduce the risk of early age cracking of cement paste in wind environment. Xin et al. (2020) studied the effect of cold wave on the crack resistance of medium heat and low heat cement concrete by using the temperature stress testing machine. The results showed that cold wave weather increased the cracking risk of low-heat cement concrete. The countermeasures against plastic cracking of concrete are divided into two types: active measures and passive measures (Ghourchian et al., 2018). Active measures are based on scientific curing methods to reduce the water evaporation rate of concrete (ACI, 2007, 2008; Yalçınkaya & Yazıcı, 2017). Passive measures are to improve the crack resistance of concrete through fibers (Bertelsen et al., 2020; Lyu et al., 2021; Shen et al., 2019a), supplementary cementitious materials (Shen et al., 2019b; Wang et al., 2021) and super absorbent polymers (SAP) (Li & Dabarera, 2020; Lyu et al., 2020; Olivier et al., 2018; Snoeck & Pel, 2018).

The above research showed that the interval time and environmental factors had a negative impact on the interlayer properties and crack resistance of mass concrete. However, there are few reports about the risks of mass concrete construction under extreme environmental conditions. In recent years, global warming has led to more frequent extreme weather (Climate Change, 2021; Dunn et al., 2020; Spinoni & Barbosa, 2019), and it may be encountered during the construction of large projects. The layered construction of mass concrete will also face greater challenges.

Therefore, this study focuses on the construction risks of mass concrete under extreme environmental conditions. Firstly, the concrete layer state and interlayer splitting tensile strength under extreme environments (high temperature, strong wind, steep descent of temperature, and short-time heavy rainfall) were tested. Secondly, the cracking risks of concrete under extreme weather (coupling of strong winds and dry-heat, strong winds and cold waves, and short-time heavy rainfall) were then investigated. Finally, effective measures were put forward to deal with construction risks under extreme weather conditions.

Experimental Procedure

Raw Materials

P•LH 42.5 low-heat Portland cement was used in the test, and the main performance indexes are shown in Table 1. The concrete mix proportion is shown in Table 2. Mix proportion LHP-1 was used for the concrete interlayer properties test. Mix proportion LHP-2 was used for the early-age crack resistance test of concrete.

Table 1 Properties of cement.
Table 2 Mix proportion of concrete (kg/m3).

Chinese standard GB/T 176-2008 specified the detection methods for the chemical composition of cement, such as silicon dioxide, which was determined by the potassium fluorosilicate volumetric method. The aluminum oxide content was determined by the copper sulfate back titration method. The iron oxide was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry.

Crushed basalt with a 5–20 mm particle size range was used as coarse aggregate. As fine aggregate, artificial sand (basalt) with an apparent density of 2780 kg/m3 was used. In addition, polycarboxylate superplasticizer and alkyl benzene sulfonate air-entraining agent were used in the test.

Modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber was used in the experiment. The fiber length and diameter were 12 mm and 40 μm, respectively. The fiber content was 0.9 kg/m3.

Specimen Preparation

First, the concrete mixture was wet screened using a sieve with a diameter of 5 mm. Then, the screened mortar was packed into a 100 mm diameter cylinder and vibrated to compact. Finally, the specimens were put into the environmental chambers for water content and penetration resistance tests.

The splitting tensile specimens were created using 150 × 150 × 150 mm cube molds. First, the lower layer of concrete (height 75 mm) was poured. Then, it was placed in the preset environmental chambers (Table 3) for 6 h. Finally, specimens were taken out of environmental chambers and poured into the upper layer of concrete. The specimens were demoulded and cured in a standard curing room (20 ± 2 °C, RH ≥ 95%) for 28 days.

Table 3 Test environmental parameters and corresponding treatment measures.

The concrete interlayer properties test environment was divided into four kinds: high temperature, strong winds, a steep temperature descent, and short-time heavy rainfall. The specific environmental parameters are listed in Table 3. In the high temperature environment, the temperature and relative humidity were set to 40 °C and 30%, respectively, for the interlayer properties tests. The test specimens were divided into three groups, namely, surface non-treated, covering insulation quilts and artificial grooves. The thickness of insulation quilt was 20 mm (Fig. 1a). The diameter and depth of artificial grooves were 30 mm and 20 mm, respectively (Fig. 1b). In the strong wind environment, the temperature and relative humidity were set to 20 °C and 30% for the interlayer properties tests. The grouping of specimens was the same as above. The wind speed on the concrete surface was controlled at 13 m/s by a turbocharged fan (Fig. 2a). The interlayer properties test of concrete under steep temperature descent was divided into three groups. The ambient temperature of the first group decreased from 20 to 12 °C. The ambient temperature of the second and third groups decreased from 20 to 5 °C. The cooling rate was 2 °C/h. An artificial sprinkling was used to simulate short-time heavy rainfall. The depth of water accumulation on the concrete surface reached up to 30 mm within 3 h.

Fig. 1
figure 1

a Covering insulation quilt; b Artificial grooves.

Fig. 2
figure 2

a Wind speed control on concrete surface; b Environmental chamber.

The test environment for the concrete crack resistance at an early-age was divided into three types: the coupling of strong winds and dry-heat, strong winds and cold waves, and short-time heavy rainfall. The concrete slab cracking specimen size was 800 × 600 × 100 mm. The specimens were placed in the environmental chamber, which was preset with temperature and humidity (Table 3). In the test, the wind speed on the surface of specimen was set at 13 ± 0.5 m/s.

Moreover, the environmental chamber controlled the temperature and humidity (Fig. 2b). The size of the environmental chamber was 6700 × 5500 × 2800 mm. The walk-in environmental chamber was independently developed by Tsinghua University.

It should be noted that there is an obvious size effect between concrete specimens and mass concrete. When the size of concrete becomes larger, its compressive strength and tensile strength will decrease and eventually tend to be stable (Li et al., 2002). Although the strength of small specimens does not represent the real strength of mass concrete, it can reflect the strength change law of mass concrete. In addition, the existing size effect model (Serra & Batista, 2017) can establish a quantitative relationship between the strength of concrete specimens of any size. Therefore, the test results of small-scale specimens under different environmental conditions can also be used to evaluate the real strength of mass concrete in practical engineering.

Experimental Methods

Test for Water Content and Penetration Resistance

The water content of mortar was measured by the TDR150 soil moisture rapid tester (Fig. 3a) produced by American Spectrum Company. The length of the probe is 3.8 cm. Take the average of three measured values as the test result.

Fig. 3
figure 3

a Water content test instrument; b Penetration resistance test instrument.

The penetration resistance of mortar was tested in accordance with Chinese standard DL/T 5150-2017 (China Electric Power Press, 2017). Mortar penetration resistance was tested by the DL-ASTT automatic concrete setting time tester (Fig. 3b). The instrument was produced by China’s Zhoushan Daolong Technology Co., LTD.

Interlayer Splitting Tensile Strength Test of Concrete

The interlayer splitting tensile strength test of concrete was carried out in accordance with the Chinese standard DL/T 5150-2017 (China Electric Power Press, 2017). It needs to be explained that the interlayer refers to the interface between the upper and lower layers of concrete (Fig. 4).The specimen was split along the layer at a loading rate of 0.04–0.06 MPa/s. The calculation equation for concrete splitting tensile strength is as follows:

$$f_{{{\text{ts}}}} = \frac{2P}{{\pi A}} = 0.637\,\frac{P}{A}$$
(1)

where \(f_{{{\text{ts}}}}\) is splitting tensile strength of concrete; \(P\) is failure load; \(A\) is cross-sectional area of the cube.

Fig. 4
figure 4

Schematic diagram of splitting tensile strength test.

The specimen numbers were C0, (A1, A2, A3), (B1, B2, B3), (C1, C2, C3), and (D1, D2, D3). Group C0 represents bulk concrete, and the other groups represent concrete poured in layers. The average value of three specimens was taken as the test result.

Early-Age Crack Resistance Test

An early-age crack resistance test of concrete was carried out in accordance with the Chinese standard GB/T 50082-2009 (China Construction Industry Press, 2009). The cracking resistance of concrete at an early-age was tested by the plate cracking method. The size of the plate is 800 × 600 × 100 mm. There are seven crack inducers in the mold. After pouring, specimens were put into the environmental chamber, which could set various parameters (see Table 3). Then set the wind speed at 100 mm directly above the specimen to 13 m/s. In addition, the wind direction should be parallel to the surface of specimens and crack inducers. The length, width, and number of cracks were measured 24 h after the specimen was formed. Crack length was measured by steel ruler. Crack width was measured with a microscope with magnification of at least 40 times. The calculation of test results shall comply with the following provisions:

The average cracking area of each crack has been calculated according to the following equation:

$$a = \frac{1}{2N}\sum\limits_{i = 1}^{N} {W_{i} \times L_{i} }$$
(2)

The number of cracks per unit area has been calculated according to the following equation:

$$b = \frac{N}{A}$$
(3)

The total cracking area per unit area has been calculated according to the following equation:

$$c = a \times b$$
(4)

where Wi denotes the maximum width (mm) of crack i; Li is the length (mm) of crack i; N is the total number of cracks; A is the area of a flat plate (m2); a is the average cracking area of each crack (mm2/strip); b is the number of cracks per unit area (strip/m2); c is the total cracking area per unit area (mm2/m2). The average value of two specimens was taken as the test result.

The concrete early-age cracking test under each environment was divided into three groups: surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilt, and adding PVA fibers. At the same time, the water content and penetration resistance of mortar were tested (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5
figure 5

Crack resistance test of concrete at early-age. 1 Long side panel. 2 Short side panel. 3 Bolt. 4 Reinforcing rib. 5 Crack inducer. 6 Bottom plate.

Results and Discussion

Interlayer Properties of Concrete

The main purpose of this section is to improve the interlayer bonding strength of concrete under extreme environmental conditions. The interlayer bonding strength of concrete mainly depends on the chemical bonding force of cementitious materials and the degree of mutual embedding of aggregates. The research has shown that the interlayer bonding strength of concrete can be guaranteed by pouring the upper layer of concrete before the initial setting of the lower layer of concrete (Qian & Xu, 2018b). Due to construction efficiency and mechanical failure, if upper concrete cannot be poured before the initial setting of lower concrete, it is necessary to improve the interlayer bonding strength of concrete through artificial grooves.

High Temperature

Water Content and Penetration Resistance of Mortar

The water content and penetration resistance of mortar under high temperatures are shown in Fig. 6a and b, respectively. With the increase of age, the water content of mortar decreased gradually, while the penetration resistance increased continuously. There are two reasons for this phenomenon: (i) the hydration reaction of cement increases the strength of mortar while consuming part of water; and (ii) high-temperature accelerates the water evaporation rate and reduces the total water content (Joshaghani & Balapour, 2018).

Fig. 6
figure 6

Effect of high temperature on the state of mortar layer.

The water content of mortar covered with an insulation quilt was closer to the designed water content (Fig. 6a). In addition, the penetration resistance of mortar developed slowly after being covered with an insulation quilt. For example, at 487 min (after being placed in the environmental chamber for 6 h), the water content of mortar under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilt, and artificial grooves) was 82.5, 106.8, and 88.2 kg/m3, which was 38%, 20%, and 34% lower than the designed water content (133 kg/m3), respectively. The penetration resistance of mortar under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilt, and artificial grooves) was 17, 12, and 16 MPa, respectively. The results show that covering an insulation quilt can reduce the water loss of mortar and reduce the penetration resistance to a certain extent in a high-temperature environment. The reason is that the insulation quilt can reduce the influence of the external high-temperature environment on the mortar surface, effectively inhibiting the evaporation of water and slowing down the mortar setting rate.

Interlayer Splitting Tensile Strength

The splitting tensile strength of concrete under high temperatures is shown in Fig. 6. The splitting tensile strength of bulk concrete was 1.21 MPa. For the concrete types of A1 (surface nontreatment), A2 (covering insulation quilt), and A3 (artificial grooves), the interlayer splitting tensile strength was 0.60, 0.56, and 0.74 MPa respectively, which was 50%, 54%, and 39% lower than bulk concrete. This indicates that artificial grooves can slightly increase the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete under high-temperature conditions.

Under high-temperature conditions, the strengths of A1 (surface nontreatment) and A2 (covering insulation quilt) were both lower than bulk concrete (Fig. 7), which was mainly because the lower concrete had already initially set when the upper concrete was poured (Fig. 6b). The interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete could be improved by using artificial grooves. This may be because the artificial grooves increased the embedding degree between the upper and lower layers of concrete, thereby improving the interlayer bonding strength (Li et al., 2016). In addition, it has been reported that the interlayer bonding quality of concrete depends on the roughness of the lower layer of concrete (Santos & Silva, 2007). The artificial grooves increased the roughness of the lower layer of concrete, and then improved interlayer bonding strength.

Fig. 7
figure 7

Effect of high temperature on interlayer split tensile strength of concrete.

Strong Wind

Water Content and Penetration Resistance of Mortar

The water content and penetration resistance of the mortar under the strong wind environment condition are shown in Fig. 8a and b, respectively. As age increases, the water content of the mortar shows a gradual downward trend, while the penetration resistance continues to increase.

Fig. 8
figure 8

Effect of strong wind on the state of mortar layer.

Compared with the other two working conditions, the water content of mortar covered with insulation quilt was higher and the penetration resistance was relatively lower. For example, when the age was 508 min (after being put into an environmental chamber for 6 h), the water content of mortar under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, artificial grooves, and covering insulation quilt) was 83.3, 88, and 116.2 kg/m3, respectively, which was 37%, 34%, and 13% lower than the designed water content (133 kg/m3). The penetration resistance of mortar under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, artificial grooves, and covering insulation quilt) was 34, 26.8, and 3.25 MPa, respectively. This indicated that covering insulation quilt was an effective moisturizing measure in a strong wind environment. It can prevent the water from evaporating outward and decrease the setting rate of mortar.

Interlayer Splitting Tensile Strength

The splitting tensile strength of concrete under strong winds is shown in Fig. 9. The splitting tensile strength of bulk concrete was 1.21 MPa. For the concrete types of B1 (surface nontreatment), B2 (covering insulation quilt), and B3 (artificial grooves), the interlayer splitting tensile strength was 0.73, 1.19, and 1.20 MPa, which was 40%, 2%, and 1% lower than bulk concrete. It can be concluded that artificial grooves and covering insulation quilts can effectively improve the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete under strong wind conditions.

Fig. 9
figure 9

Effect of strong wind on interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete.

Moreover, B2 (covering insulation quilt) and B3 (artificial grooves) had the same strength (Fig. 9), which was mainly because the covering insulation quilt prevented the evaporation of water (Fig. 8a) and delayed the setting of concrete (Fig. 8b). The artificial groove improves the interlayer bonding strength by increasing the degree of embedding between the upper and lower layers of concrete.

Steep Descent of Temperature

Water Content and Penetration Resistance of Mortar

The water content and penetration resistance of mortar under a steep descent in temperature are shown in Fig. 10a and b. With the increase of age, the water content of mortar decreased gradually, while the penetration resistance increased continuously.

Fig. 10
figure 10

Effect of temperature steep descent on the state of mortar layer.

It can be seen from Fig. 10 that the water content of the mortar after covering an insulation quilt was higher than that of the other two working conditions, and the penetration resistance was relatively lower. For example, when the age was 560 min (after being put into the environmental chamber for 6 h), the water content of mortar under three working conditions was 105, 98.8, and 126.8 kg/m3 respectively, which was 21%, 26%, and 5% lower than the designed water content (133 kg/m3). The results showed that in a steep descent in temperature, the covering of an insulation quilt was an effective moisturizing measure, which can effectively prevent the influence of cold air on the interlayer properties of concrete.

Interlayer Splitting Tensile Strength

The splitting tensile strength of concrete under a steep descent in temperature is shown in Fig. 11. The splitting tensile strength of bulk concrete was 1.21 MPa. For the concrete types of C1 (the temperature decreased by 8 °C, surface nontreatment), C2 (the temperature decreased by 15 °C, surface nontreatment), and C3 (the temperature decreased by 15 °C, covering insulation quilt), the interlayer splitting tensile strength was 0.86, 0.58, and 1.14 MPa, which was 29%, 52%, and 6% lower than bulk concrete (C0). It is abundantly obvious that the interlayer splitting tensile strength deteriorates with the increases of temperature. Covering an insulation quilt can effectively avoid the influence of strong cooling weather on interlayer properties.

Fig. 11
figure 11

Effect of temperature steep descent on interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete.

The strength of C3 (the temperature decreased by 15 °C, covering an insulation quilt) in a steep descent in temperature environment was close to that of bulk concrete (Fig. 11), which was mainly because covering an insulation quilt prevented the evaporation of water (Fig. 10a) and delayed the setting of concrete (Fig. 10b). The strength of C2 (the temperature decreased by 15 °C, surface nontreatment) was lower than that of C1 (the temperature decreased by 8 °C, surface nontreatment), which was mainly because the greater the temperature drop, the lower the water content of the concrete surface. The research showed that interlayer splitting tensile strength was related to the water content index of the lower layer of concrete. The interlayer splitting tensile strength decreases as the water content decreases (Xu et al., 2017).

Short-Time Heavy Rainfall

Interlayer Splitting Tensile Strength

The splitting tensile strength of concrete under short-time heavy rainfall is shown in Fig. 12. The splitting tensile strength of bulk concrete was 1.21 MPa. For the concrete types of D1 (covering insulation quilt), D2 (drain off water), and D3 (surface nontreatment), the interlayer splitting tensile strength was 0.80, 0.59, and 0.42 MPa, which decreased by 43%, 58%, and 70%, respectively, compared with that of C0 (bulk concrete). The main reason for the decrease in interlayer splitting tensile strength under the condition of heavy rainfall may be that the rain increased the water-binder ratio of the concrete, which made the pore structure near the concrete layer rough. Covering insulation quilts can effectively prevent the interlayer properties from influencing by short-time heavy rainfall weather.

Fig. 12
figure 12

Effect of short-time heavy rainfall on interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete.

Crack Resistance of Concrete at Early-Age

Coupling Condition of Strong Wind, Dryness, and Heat

Water Content and Penetration Resistance of Mortar

The water content and penetration resistance of mortar under the strong wind and dry heat coupling conditions are shown in Fig. 13a and b, respectively. With increasing age, the water content of mortar decreased gradually, while the penetration resistance increased continuously. The final (324 min) water content of mortar under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilt and adding PVA fibers) was 78, 136, and 73 kg/m3, which decreased by 63%, 38%, and 65% compared with initial water content, respectively. The final penetration resistance of mortar was 36, 29.4, and 33.4 MPa, respectively. This indicates that covering insulation quilts can effectively avoid water evaporation under conditions of strong wind and dry-heat. At the same time, covering the insulation quilts can also decrease the setting rate of mortar. In addition, adding PVA fibers to the mortar cannot prevent the water evaporation, nor can it delay the setting and hardening process of concrete.

Fig. 13
figure 13

Influence of strong wind, dryness, and heat coupled weather on the state of mortar layer.

Crack Resistance

Fig. 14 shows the cracking of concrete under strong wind and dry heat coupled conditions. The total cracking area per unit area can be used as the concrete crack resistance evaluation index. The total cracking areas per unit area of concrete under three working conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulating quilt, and adding PVA fibers) were 275, 42, and 65 mm2/m2, respectively. This indicates that covering an insulation quilt can effectively prevent concrete from cracking. This was mainly due to the inhibition of evaporation by an insulation quilt (Fig. 13a). Furthermore, sufficient moisture prevented shrinkage cracks in concrete. In addition, the above results also indicated that the addition of PVA fibers could reduce the number and width of cracks (Bertelsen et al., 2020) (Table 4).

Fig. 14
figure 14

Cracking of concrete surface under the coupled conditions of wind, dry and heat.

Table 4 Concrete cracking parameters under the coupled conditions of strong wind, dryness, and heat.

The average maximum crack widths of concrete under three working conditions were 0.14, 0.18, and 0.04 mm, respectively, which indicates that PVA fibers can effectively inhibit crack expansion. This is attributable to the ability of fibers to transfer stress from the weak parts, such as cracks and pores in concrete, delaying the formation and development of cracks (Kim et al., 2008; Shi et al., 2018). Engineering practice has also verified the excellent performance of PVA fibers concrete. For example, Yang (2011) studied the application effect of PVA fibers in Xiluodu extra-high Arch Dam. The results showed that the addition of PVA fiber was beneficial to improve the crack resistance safety index of arch dam concrete. In addition, Liu & Zhang (2020) applied PVA fibers to the construction of the Suapiti Dam in Guinea based on the successful experience of the Xiluodu Arch Dam. The results showed that PVA fibers reduced the risk of concrete cracking at the bottom diversion hole.

Strong Wind and Cold Wave

Water Content and Penetration Resistance of Mortar

The water content and penetration resistance of mortar under strong wind and cold wave weather are shown in Fig. 15a and b, respectively. The water content of mortar decreased with the increase of age. The final (240 min) water content of mortar under three conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilt, and adding PVA fibers) was 118 kg/m3, 117 kg/m3, and 84 kg/m3, which decreased by 22%, 31%, and 43% compared with the initial water content, respectively. The final penetration resistance of mortar was 5.7, 3, and 17.3 MPa, respectively. This indicated that the addition of PVA fibers increased the evaporation rate of water. At the same time, the addition of PVA fibers also accelerated the setting rate of mortar. In addition, covering insulation quilts can delay the setting and hardening process of concrete (Table 5).

Fig. 15
figure 15

The influence of strong wind and cold wave weather on the state of mortar layer.

Table 5 Concrete cracking parameters under strong wind and cold wave conditions.
Crack Resistance

The cracking of concrete under the conditions of strong winds and cold waves is shown in Fig. 16. The total cracking area of concrete per unit area was 342, 0, and 81 mm2/m2 under three conditions (surface nontreatment, covering insulation quilts, and adding PVA fibers). This demonstrates that covering an insulation quilt can effectively avoid concrete cracking. This is attributed to the reason that an insulation quilt can keep the concrete temperature constant. Furthermore, the insulation quilt delayed the setting of concrete (Fig. 15b), so that the internal stress of concrete changed uniformly.

Fig. 16
figure 16

Cracking of concrete surface under strong wind and cold wave conditions.

In addition, the average maximum crack width of concrete under three working conditions was 0.11, 0.0, and 0.05 mm respectively. The results show that both insulation quilts and PVA fibers can effectively inhibit the propagation of cracks.

Short-Time Heavy Rainfall

Crack Resistance

Fig. 17 shows a risk of concrete cracking under the condition of short-time heavy rainfall. The total cracking area of concrete per unit area was 29, 0, and 0 mm2/m2 under three conditions (surface non-treatment, covering insulation quilts, and adding PVA fibers). The results showed that both covering an insulation quilt and adding PVA fibers could effectively avoid concrete cracking. Covering insulation quilts can prevent rainwater from penetrating the concrete. Furthermore, PVA fibers can play a role in bridging and cracking resistance (Table 6).

Fig. 17
figure 17

Cracking of concrete surface under short-time heavy rainfall conditions.

Table 6 Concrete cracking parameters under short-time heavy rainfall.

Conclusions

  1. (1)

    The interlayer mechanical properties of concrete decreased significantly under extreme weather conditions (high temperature, strong wind, a steep descent in temperature, and short-time heavy rainfall). Covering with an insulation quilt can improve the interlayer bonding strength of concrete. The reason is that an insulation quilt can reduce the impact of the external environment on concrete, thus reducing water evaporation and delaying the concrete setting rate. Furthermore, artificial grooves can strengthen interlayer bonding. This is mainly because the artificial grooves increase the roughness of the lower layer of concrete and improve the mutual embedding degree of the upper and lower layer of concrete. Therefore, the aforementioned treatment measures can be adopted according to weather conditions during the construction process to deal with construction risks.

  2. (2)

    There is a risk of cracking in mass concrete under extreme weather conditions (coupling of strong winds and dry-heat, strong winds and cold waves, and short-time heavy rainfall). Covering with an insulation quilt can effectively prevent concrete cracking. It is mainly related to the fact that the insulation quilt hinders the water evaporation, resulting in an obvious decrease in the water loss shrinkage stress. In addition, the high water content makes the cement fully hydrated and improves the early tensile strength, which is conducive to the anti-cracking property of concrete at early-age.

  3. (3)

    Adding PVA fibers can inhibit the generation and propagation of microcracks on the surface of the concrete. This is because PVA fibers can withstand some of the tensile stress caused by water loss and shrinkage and play a role in bridging and crack resistance. Therefore, the PVA fiber concrete can be applied to the key parts of the dam to improve the crack resistance of the dam concrete.

The current risk response measures are more traditional and are still being used. In the future, it is intended to study the influence of nanomaterials on the interlayer properties and crack resistance of mass concrete. Moreover, the prediction model of interlayer bonding strength, including temperature, humidity, wind speed, and interface roughness can be developed in the future to accurately determine the construction risks of mass concrete.

Data availability

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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Funding

This research was funded by the cultivating plan on Young Backbones Teachers of Colleges and Universities, Henan province (No. 2017GGJS183) and Leading Academic Discipline Project of Zhengzhou University of Technology.

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Contributions

HS and WJL conceived and designed the experiments; DW performed the experiments; DW analyzed the data; HS and WJL wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

Hang Song, Ph.D., Dai Wang, Associate professor, Assessment Technique Research Institute of Civil Engineering, Zhengzhou University of Technology, Henan, Zhengzhou, 450044, China. Wei-Jia Liu, Ph.D., State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.

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Correspondence to Wei-Jia Liu.

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Song, H., Wang, D. & Liu, WJ. RETRACTED ARTICLE: Research on Construction Risks and Countermeasures of Concrete Dam. Int J Concr Struct Mater 16, 13 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40069-022-00501-3

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Keywords

  • extreme weather
  • mass concrete
  • water content
  • interlayer splitting tensile strength
  • construction risk
  • crack resistance
  • low heat cement
  • PVA fibers