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Article

Thermal Analysis of a Raft Concrete Foundation: A Case Study of a Leaking Ethane Tank

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School of Engineering and Technology, Walailak University, Nakhonsithammarat 80161, Thailand
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Center of Excellence in Natural Disaster Management, Department of Civil Engineering, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
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School of Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
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Civil Engineering Stream, School of Engineering, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elena Ferretti
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070889
Received: 14 May 2022 / Revised: 18 June 2022 / Accepted: 21 June 2022 / Published: 23 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
This article presents a case study on the thermal assessment of a reinforced concrete (RC) foundation exposed to low temperatures. The foundation supports a 19,500 m3-capacity tank with low-temperature (−89 °C) ethane. Icing and bubbling were observed on the tank’s surface soon after it started operations. Condensation was also observed at the bottom of the 0.8-m-depth RC slab, which raised concerns about the structural condition of the concrete. This study provides details of the field and analytical investigations conducted to assess the structural condition of the foundation. Heat transfer finite element (FE) analyses were performed to examine the concrete sections subjected to low temperatures. It was found that the ethane leakage produced a low temperature on the top side of the concrete foundation of +9.7 °C. Overall, the temperatures calculated by the FE analyses were in good agreement with actual field measurements, within a ±5% accuracy. The simplified heat transfer equation for porous media used in this study was sufficiently accurate to model the effects of the ethane leakage in the concrete foundation, provided that the ambient temperature at the site is taken into account in the analysis. The results also confirm that reinforcing bars can be neglected in the thermal analysis of massive concrete slabs. The results from the field measurements and FE analyses confirmed that the structural integrity of the RC foundation was never compromised. The approaches, methods and techniques discussed in this article are deemed suitable to solve the practical and scientific challenges involved in the thermal assessment and repairs of large special structures. Accordingly, they can serve as useful reference and guidance for engineers and practitioners working in the field of forensic engineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: reinforced concrete; raft foundation; temperature effects; finite element modelling reinforced concrete; raft foundation; temperature effects; finite element modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wattanapanich, C.; Imjai, T.; Aosai, P.; Hansapinyo, C.; Figueiredo, F.P.; Garcia, R. Thermal Analysis of a Raft Concrete Foundation: A Case Study of a Leaking Ethane Tank. Buildings 2022, 12, 889. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070889

AMA Style

Wattanapanich C, Imjai T, Aosai P, Hansapinyo C, Figueiredo FP, Garcia R. Thermal Analysis of a Raft Concrete Foundation: A Case Study of a Leaking Ethane Tank. Buildings. 2022; 12(7):889. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070889

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wattanapanich, Chirawat, Thanongsak Imjai, Pakjira Aosai, Chayanon Hansapinyo, Fabio P. Figueiredo, and Reyes Garcia. 2022. "Thermal Analysis of a Raft Concrete Foundation: A Case Study of a Leaking Ethane Tank" Buildings 12, no. 7: 889. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070889

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