In the construction of high concrete-faced rockfill dams (CFRDs), soft filler is used in the longitudinal joints in order to avoid extrusion damage to the concrete face slab. In this paper, we consider the soft joint contact as an equivalent contact interface to avoid introducing conventional elements. Based on the introduction of a general transformation to obtain fully decoupled contact constraints, a new generalized node-to-segment formulation is developed to solve the multi-body contact problem in CFRDs. The high CFRD of Tianshengqiao-1 in China is numerically analyzed; the results show that soft joints can significantly reduce the axial stress of face slabs.
Zhou, M. Z., Zhang, B. yin, & Jie, Y. xin. (2016). Numerical simulation of soft longitudinal joints in concrete-faced rockfill dam. Soils and Foundations, 56(3), 379–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sandf.2016.04.005