From Realtà Mapei n° 33 - 2021-08-26

Solutions for Dams

Prominent hydropower projects worldwide feature MAPEI technology

This article is reprinted from Realtà MAPEI International magazine, Issue #83.

An increase in the world’s population and the natural ambition for a better standard of living make the design, construction and management of dams an important subject. Dams allow water to be controlled and managed for irrigation purposes, thereby encouraging the cultivation of vast areas of land. They also create a permanent barrier along natural waterways allowing hydro-electric energy to be generated, which is a major source of renewable energy. A dam may also be used to control the level of a water course to prevent hydro-geological disasters and to promote new ways of transporting goods.

MAPEI follows and supports large hydropower projects from the design throughout every stage of their development. The same care and attention required for the construction of a dam are also necessary when carrying out maintenance operations by adopting appropriate repair procedures. A dam needs constant monitoring throughout its entire life cycle to identify potential defects.

Thanks to targeted research work, MAPEI has developed dedicated systems and technologies for both construction and maintenance work. Our technical support experts work constantly alongside design engineers and building companies, providing technical support of the highest quality.

Products for building dams

MAPEI develops and supplies products and solutions for construction work, and has a complete range of products available for building dams, canals and hydraulic tunnels.

MAPEI can offer the following solutions:

  • Admixtures for conventional concrete and roller-compacted concrete (RCC)
  • Admixtures and fibers for shotcrete
  • Admixtures for high-strength concrete
  • Admixtures for injection slurries
  • Products for mechanical excavation and conditioning
  • Waterproofing mortars and membranes
  • Materials for treating facing walls
  • Sealants and membranes for joints
  • Grouts for anchoring
  • Waterstops
  • Epoxy resins
  • Underwater putties

Products for repairing dams

The long lifespan of a large hydropower project often imposes repair work to be carried out in order to maintain and guarantee the overall efficiency of the structure. Sometimes, improvements are required in order for the structure to withstand variations in working conditions.

Over the years, MAPEI has developed a specific range of products that offer solutions for a wide variety of dam structural and maintenance repairs. These products include:

  • Repair mortars
  • Structural strengthening systems
  • Admixtures for concrete and shotcrete
  • Waterproofing membranes and mortars
  • Grouts for anchoring
  • Sealants and membranes for joints

Types of dams

Dams may be built using rocks and earth (embankment dams) or concrete. Concrete dams may be divided into two categories: Gravity dams, made from roller-compacted concrete (RCC), and arch dams, made from normal concrete.


Research to ensure durability

Design, construction, maintenance: MAPEI supports each stage of large hydropower projects. The company has always been highly committed to Research & Development, continuously and significantly investing in this field. MAPEI’s products are the result of our commitment to excellence in research, with the goal of developing innovative formulas that may be integrated into complete application systems, which yield very effective results.

Over the years, MAPEI has made the reliability of its products a key focus point: Ensuring increased durability means preventing, or at least delaying, further maintenance interventions. A further concrete commitment to sustainable development is the minimizing of the waste of resources and time.


Technical services: From design support to site support

MAPEI has always been a favored partner for designers and specifying engineers working on large hydropower projects. Through our global network of technicians, MAPEI is able to provide solutions to problems arising in these works – all over the world.

Indeed, MAPEI has made Technical Services one of its strong points. Each day, the company is present with qualified technicians on sites in more than 128 countries around the world. By working alongside teams from big contracting firms, MAPEI is able to demonstrate our knowledge of correct installation methods and provide our expertise and solutions.

In every corner of the world, starting from the initial design stages of a hydropower project, MAPEI has teams of highly specialized technical staff available, supplying consulting services on the products to be used, as well as technical support when necessary.

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