Structural reinforcement of an RC cooling tower - reinforced concrete structure

STRUCTURAL DESIGN: eng. Tsvetan Prokopiev / Kuli i Komini EOOD


The cooling tower was built around 1965 with another two cooling towers constructed nearby. One of the three towers collapsed a few years later around 1973.
In the past, a few reparations were executed, but the result was unsatisfactory. An overall structural repair was necessary because of the damage of the concrete, the destruction of the concrete cover in large part of the inner and outer wall, and the corrosion of the reinforcement. Furthermore, significant structural cracks could be investigated on the outer surface of the wall.
During the invetsigaton, a few shocking findings were revealed. The bottom wall under the columns almost had no vertical reinforcement which was the main reason for the failure of one of the three cooling towers. Thus, it had no sufficient vertical load-bearing capacity. The other problem was the insufficient reinforcement in vertical and horizontal directions. In the top third of the tower, the reinforcement was severely corroded that it was as thin as hair (or totally missing).
During the construction, a special hanging platform was applied in a part of the structure, but at the other part, additional columns were needed.

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eng. Tsvetan Prokopiev / Kuli i Komini EOOD