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Dam construction

A dam is an artificial embankment made of soil and rock fill and given its function, the design and construction must impart stability against water conductivity (sealing and drainage) and provide sound internal distribution of soil particles (aggregate interlock) in the dam body.

There can be different objectives for a dam construction project. There are e.g. flood protection dams (targeted channelling of water, 0), lateral dams along shipping channels, backwater dams for reservoirs, dams for hydroelectric power plants or reservoir power stations (as against dams essentially made of earth and rock fill).

Compaction on dam construction work

When selecting rock materials for suitability and use in dam construction, the loading, haulage, placement and compaction are of major significance, along with excavation, which is commonly carried out by blasting, milling or cutting (side or face cutting, tunnelled).

Compaction is of key importance in determining the quality of dam construction. For each application the correct compaction equipment must be chosen in order to achieve the desired compaction result in both technical and economic terms.


Since the nineteen eighties BOMAG has been closely engaged in the development of compaction processes with vibratory rollers on dam construction projects, utilising the interaction between the movement of the drum and the stiffness of the layer as compaction progresses.

BOMAG compaction technology using vibratory rollers in dam construction has already reached a high stage of development. This push in innovation has led to the development of automatic measuring and documentation systems. With these roller integrated systems the compaction process can be controlled and optimized with surface covering documentation of compaction quality, all important in dam construction.

Further research and development work in the last few years was followed by the successful market launch of intelligent BOMAG compaction systems including ASPHALT MANAGER and VARIOCONTROL, whereby compaction amplitude is automatically adjusted to the current site conditions. These intelligent rollers feature high compaction power, extended depth effect, uniform compaction and high utilisation: very well suited to dam projects.

Dam construction - Examples:


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