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Foundation and Structure
Foundation and Structures group deals with the determination of the properties of foundation and structural materials and analysis of structural response and safety to various loads using laboratory and field tests as well as mathematical modelling. There are three technical divisions under this discipline; viz. Geotechnical Engineering (GE), Structural Modelling and Analysis (SMA), and Concrete Technology (CT). The Concrete Technology Division has been recently made an independent division out of the original. Soil and Concrete Division created in the year 1948. The Soil section has been merged with the Rock Mechanics division established in 1963 to form the GE division. The SMA division has been recently created by merging the activities of the Hydraulic Structure Research Centre (HSRC), Photoelasticity (PE), Model Engineering (ME) and Mathematics divisions.

Major activities undertaken by the various technical divisions in this group are summarized below:
  • Laboratory and field tests for estimating various Engineering Properties (Elastic and Strength) of soil, rock and other construction materials
  • Laboratory tests for finding tensile strength, resistance to puncture and permeability of geo-textiles and geo-membranes to assess their suitability for application in hydraulic structures
  • Stress analysis of underground openings by FEM method and Design of rock support systems and strengthening measures for rock mass
  • Evaluation of groutability and grouting procedure including assessment of the efficacy of grouting
  • Mathematical Modelling for dynamic response analysis of dams and evaluation of liquefaction potential of foundation strata
  • Physical Model studies for penstock manifolds and field studies for hydrostatic tests on penstocks and pipelines
  • Load tests on bridges, beams/columns of power houses, gates, etc.
  • In-situ measurement of stress/strain, uplift pressure, pore-pressure for monitoring long-term structural performance of gravity dams
  • Identification of suitable epoxy compounds (epoxy mortar & grout systems, and other materials) for rehabilitation of old/distressed hydraulic structures
  • Determination of thermal (adiabatic temperature rise, diffusivity, coefficient of thermal expansion) and creep properties of mass and roller compacted concrete
  • Thermal analysis of mass concrete and roller compacted concrete dams for estimating suitable placement temperature and construction schedule; pre and post cooling of mass concrete
The Geotechnical Engineering - II (Soil) Division undertakes studies related to Geotechnical Engineering discipline for various water resources, ports and harbour, nuclear and atomic power projects, etc. The division is well equipped with testing laboratory for determination of various physical, strength and hydraulic parameters of soil. These parameters are further used for studies using numerical modelling softwares and analytical methods.
Numerical modelling softwares used for conducting studies are :
PLAXIS (Finite element software for static and dynamic stress analysis, seepage analysis of earth and rockfill structures)
FLAC 2D (Finite difference software for static and dynamic stress analysis, slope stability, seepage analysis of earth and rockfill structures)
TALREN, STABR (Program for slope stability analysis by circular slip surfaces)
1) Stress and Deformation analysis of earth dams under static and earthquake load conditions
Stability of earth dam for static and earthquake load conditions is determined. Factor of safety of upstream and downstream slopes is evaluated using Limit Equilibrium method of slope stability considering various seepage conditions. Dynamic stability is determined using (i) Pseudo-static method and (ii) Detailed dynamic analysis. In detailed dynamic analysis site-specific acceleration time history for DBE event is used for computation of stresses and strains in the dam body. Remedial measures for stability of the dam, if required, are recommended.
1) Seepage analysis of embankment dams, Recommending suitable remedial measures
Analysis is conducted by simulating geometry of the dam and hydraulic boundary conditions (Upstream and downstream water levels) in numerical modelling. Seepage properties (permeability, saturation, etc) of soil materials are used as input parameters. Characteristics of phreatic line, pore pressures, seepage discharges, flow vectors, flow nets, saturation, etc are determined in various zones of the dam. Suitable seepage remedial measures, if required, are recommended.
Significant earth dam projects : Warna, Terna, Ukai, Ujani, Jhuj, Maskinala, Matatila, Lower Mullamari, Chandrampalli, Dudhawa, Kolkewadi, Kutch Branch Canal, Sankosh HE Project Bhutan, Adlabs, Jigaon, Lower Tapi, Islampur, Hinglo, Kangsabati – Kumari
1) Liquefaction potential assessment of foundation strata and recommending suitable remedial measures
Liquefaction is one of the most significant earthquake hazards leading to failure of structures resting on liquefiable soils. Various earth dams have suffered severe damages due to liquefiable material used for their construction or due to presence of liquefiable soil in foundation. Liquefaction potential is assessed by conducting studies by empirical methods or by detailed analysis using laboratory cyclic triaxial test results. Remedial measures for stabilization of potentially liquefiable soils are recommened.
Significant projects : Kayamkulam super thermal power project, Kacchh Branch canal, Lakya Tailings dam of Kudremukh, Midnapore Nuclear power project, Tanir Bavi power project, Paradip port, Kakinada port
1) Settlement analysis of breakwaters resting on soft marine clay, Stability assessment of post dredging navigation channel slopes
Geotechnical analysis of a breakwater involves assessing stability of breakwater slopes and predicting its settlement and lateral movement in soft marine clay foundation. Settlement analysis helps in estimating additional quantity of construction material required. Effect of dredging in adjoining navigation channel on breakwater stability is also analysed. Stability analysis of navigation channels helps in designing safe dredging slopes. Effects of deepening channel bed on adjoining soil strata viz. Shear stresses, strains, heaving, lateral movement, etc is assessed.
Significant port projects : Kakinada, Mangalore, Karwar, Paradip
1) Rim stability of submergence
Assessment of reservoir rim stability is important in view of potential catastrophic landslides in the reservoir causing overtopping of the dam. It also causes excessive siltation resulting in reduced reservoir capacity.
Significant projects : Bunakha H.E. Project, Bhutan
1) Slope stability assessment of natural hill slopes, embankments, mine slopes
Significant projects : Talabira coal mine; Khuntephal railway embankment; hill slopes at Kudremukh, Supa dam site, etc
7) Laboratory testing for evaluation of physical, engineering and hydraulic properties of soil, assessing suitability of soil material for construction
Laboratory testing on disturbed and undisturbed soil samples is undertaken to determine various physical, strength and hydraulic parameters of soil. These parameters are further used in numerical modelling and desk studies. Assessment of suitability of soil based on laboratory test results is done. Guidance in respect of geotechnical investigations and in-situ testing is offered.
1) Studies involving application of Geosynthetics
Laboratory testing of geosynthetic material viz. geotextile (woven and nonwoven), geogrid, geomembrane, etc is undertaken for determination of physical, mechanical and hydraulic properties. Quality control testing for assessing suitability of material is carried out. Suitable geosynthetic product is recommended.
Significant port projects : Quality control testing of nonwoven geotextile material of geobags used for flood protection works at various sites in Bihar, Tarapur Atomic Power Plant Project, Kudankulam Reservoir, Telugu Ganga Project, Geotube dyke at Hooghly estuary
Geotechnical Engineering – I (Rock Mechanics)
Geotechnical Engineering–I(RM) undertakes - Laboratory studies, Field studies and Desk studies
(A) Laboratory studies: - The laboratory determined engineering properties namely density, unconfined compressive strength and Mohr Coulomb parameters are essential inputs in stress induced in stability analysis of underground opening to identify probable failure zones and in the design of effective support system for the safety of underground structures.
Significant projects- Koyna H.E. project, Virdi large minor irrigation project, Kumbhe H.E. Project; Talabira Mines.

Fully Automatic Compression Testing Machine with Accessories

Engineering properties of rock samples from Koyna dam foot power house

Sl. No Rock Property Rock Type Compact Basalt Amygdaloidal Basalt Volcanic Breccia
Total number of samples tested Range of Values Range of Values Range of Values
Min. Max. Av. Min. Max. Av. Min. Max. Av.
1 Density (gm/cc) 12 2.86 3 2.95 2.5 2.7 2.6 2.2 2.24 2.2
2 Specific Gravity 24 2.89 3.06 3 2 2.9 2.5 1.8 2.22 2
3 %Water Absorption 24 0.13 0.7 0.33 0.8 6.84 3.7 4.6 10.5 7.5
4 Static Modulus of Elasticity (dry) (kg/cm 36 7.74 17.3 11.4 1.2 8.79 4.3 0.5 1.93 1.1
5 Poisson’s Ratio (dry) 36 0.19 0.32 0.27 0.1 0.25 0.2 0.1 0.18 0.1
6 Static Modulus of Elasticity (sat.) (kg/cm 22 7.53 15.4 10.6 0.7 8.51 4.2 0.3 0.83 0.6
7 Poisson’s Ratio (sat.) 22 0.16 0.31 0.24 0.1 0.19 0.2 0.1 0.17 0.1
8 Unconfined compressive strength (dry) (kg/cm 21 1118 2242 1527 225 1508 751 180 308 257
9 Unconfined compressive strength (sat.) (kg/cm 21 716 1754 1166 177 919 527 81 201 127
10 Mohr-Coulomb parameters 10 Cohesion= 120 kg/cm Cohesion= 55 kg/cm Cohesion= 45 kg/cm
Friction angle= 56 Friction angle= 58 Friction angle= 50
(B) Field studies
¬¬To conduct in-situ deformability tests, In-situ shear test on rock and large size concrete, masonry or specially carved out rock mass blocks, Flat jack tests to determine insitu stress and deformability. Assessment of anchor strength, Evaluation of permeability, groutability.
Significant Projects–
Koyna H.E. Project, Bhakra H.E. Project, Shirota H.E. Project, Tata Power, Walwan H.E. Project, Kolkewadi H.E. Project, Kal H.E. Project, Raigad, Kumbhe H.E. Project, Ghatghar H.E. Project.
1) Flat Jack Test to determine insitu stress and deformability.
2) Permeability and Grouting Test: - Tests are conducted in NX size (54mm dia) boreholes from top of the dam or upsteam of dam to the foundation and further extended 10 m deep in the rock strata. After studying the permeability test results and core recovery, the remedial measures in the form of curtain grouting is suggested.
Significant Projects –
Hidkal H.E. Project, Songaon-Shivni Project, Chandas-Wathoda Project, Sindatalur Project.
(C) Desk Studies :- Slope stability of hillock, 2) Slope stability of Rock cliff & Underground openings, using latest software.
Significant Projects – Tillari Interstate Irrigation Project, Arjuna Medium Irrigation Project, Insuli Border Check Post, Panshet H. E. Project
Slope Stability along hillock:- The Engineering properties such as Cohesion, angle of internal friction, Elastic modulus, Poisson’s Ratio, Permeability and dry & saturated density are determined for the soil and rock samples. Slope stability analysis is carried out with the help of MIDAS GTS NX and other available softwares. For unstable slopes remedial measures will be recommended e.g. piling/anchoring/grouting etc.
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Last Update On: 06/21/2019
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