Civil Engineering · Dams · Physics · Temple university

I.Project: Dams Fluid Mechanics

I didn’t have anything in mind to write about so, I decided to write a summary about the project I just finished. The project mainly focuses on the differences between a Trapezoidal Dams and a Rectangular Dams. Relating Fluid Mechanics to the structural aspect to be easier to build and economic structure. The goal for any Structural Engineer while building a dam is to apply Fluids Mechanics (especially Fluid Statics) to the structure and decide on the shape that is easier and less costly while providing the same quality as the expensive shape. In the verdict of my discussion on the project after applying equations of Fluids Statics. The decision was made that Trapezoidal Dams are the ones that are both easier to build and less expensive.


Why Trapezoidal Dams are used for most of the Dams in the world? An interesting question and the goal of this project is to find that answer. The answer for this is that in Fluids Statics we know that pressure changes with height. For example, pressure at the top level of the Dam is lower than the bottom or the base level of the dam because of the height or depth difference. Meaning, the only parameter we need to include in our calculations of pressure is height. With a Rectangular Dam, the shape assumes that the pressure is constant everywhere and adding unnecessary extra materiel on the top level of the Dam while we know that the pressure is low. Meanwhile, a Trapezoidal Dams follow the concepts of Fluid Statics with small width on the top and large width at the bottom of the Dam. On the top there is a small pressure so, there is a small area and on the bottom there is the biggest area to resist the highest pressure on the Dam. Cutting the unnecessary areas while providing the same quality as the counterpart.


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