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Publication numberUS3834167 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1974
Filing dateDec 6, 1972
Priority dateDec 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3834167 A, US 3834167A, US-A-3834167, US3834167 A, US3834167A
InventorsTabor L
Original AssigneeImbertson N & Ass Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible dam and damming method
US 3834167 A
Abstract
An inflatable envelope type collapsible dam is made up of a plurality of inflatable envelopes one inside the other. The dam is mounted across a watercourse with the upstream edges of each of the envelopes anchored at substantially the same location. The dam may be constructed to a selected height by appropriately setting the pressures in each of the envelopes and each inner envelope operates to support a predetermined portion of the water pressure against their outer envelope or envelopes.
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finite States Patent [191 Tabor COLLAPSIBLE DAM AND DAMMING METHOD [75] Inventor: Loring E. Tabor, Los Angeles, Calif.

[73] Assignee: N. M. Imbertson & Associates, Inc.,

Burbank, Calif.

[22] Filed: Dec. 6, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 312,653

[52] US. Cl 61/30, 52/2, 61/27 [51] Int. Cl. E02b 7/04 [58] Field of Search 52/2; 61/1 F, 5, 27, 3O

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,067,712 12/1962 Doerpinghaus 61/5 X 3,173,269 3/1965 lmbertson 61/30 3,355,851 12/1967 lrnberston et a1 61/30 X 3,496,686 2/1970 Bird 52/2 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,294,889 5/1969 Germany 61/1 F [111 3,834,167 51 Sept. 10, 1974 6,506,682 7/1965 Netherlands 61/30 Primary Examiner-Mervin Stein Assistant Examiner-David H. Corbin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Huebner & Worrel [5 7] ABSTRACT An inflatable envelope type collapsible dam is made up of a plurality of inflatable envelopes one inside the other. The dam is mounted across a watercourse with the upstream edges of each of the envelopes anchored at substantially the same location. The dam may be constructed to a selected height by appropriately setting the pressures in each of the envelopes and each inner envelope operates to support a predetermined portion of the water pressure against their outer envelope or envelopes.

4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PAIENI u 8591 men SHEET 10$ 2 PATENTEUSEP 1 0 m4 SHEET 2 [IF 2 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the damming of watercourses and the like. More particularly, the present invention relates to an improved method and improved collapsible dam structure for damming watercourses.

Heretofore there has been devised a collapsible dam consisting of a single inflatable envelope formed from a suitable water impermeable sheet material which when inflated by liquid or .gas under sufficient pressure forms an effective dam across a watercourse. Such a collapsible dam is described in US. Pat. No. 3, I 73,269, which patent is assigned to the assignee of the present application.

While this prior art collapsible dam has been found satisfactory in most situations, the height of such a dam has been restricted by the strength of the water impermeable sheet material available for making the inflatable envelope. Further, even though the sabotageof such a single envelope dam has proved to be extremely difficult, such a dam nevertheless could be totally sabotaged by destroying the water tightness of its single envelope.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide an improved inflatable envelope type collapsible dam and method for damming which obviates the aforementioned disadvantages of the prior art single envelope type dam.

It is further an object of the present invention to provide an improved inflatable envelope type of collapsible dam and method of damming in which a plurality of envelopes are mounted one inside the other and the pressures of the envelopes are selectively set so that each inner enevelope supports a predetermined portion of the water pressure against their outer envelopes.

In accomplishing these and other objects, there is provided in accordance with the present invention, an inflatable envelope type collapsible dam made up of a plurality of inflatable envelopes one inside the other. The dam is mounted across a watercourse with the upstream edges of each of the inflatable envelopes anchored at substantially the same location in the watercourse. The pressures inside of the envelopes are selectively set so that each inner envelope supports a predetermined portion of the water pressure against their outer envelope or envelopes. Thereby, the dam may be built to an increased height since a portion of the pressure on the material making up the dam outer envelope is supported by the one or more inner envelopes of the dam. Further since the dam has more than one envelope, it cannot be completely sabotaged by destroying the water tightness of its outer envelope.

Additional objects of the present invention reside in the exemplary collapsible dam and method of damming shown in the drawings and hereinafter particularly described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an inflatable envelope type collapsible dam according to the present invention mounted in a watercourse and inflated to dam the watercourse.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the watercourse of FIG. 1 illustrating the recesses formed therein in which edges of the inflatable envelopes of the collapsible dam of FIG. 1 are anchored.

FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in more detail, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 an envelope type collapsible dam generally designated by the numeral 10. The dam 10 is made up of an outer inflatable envelope II and one or more inner inflatable envelopes 12.

The dam 10 is mounted in a watercourse generally designated by the numeral 13 and is shown in an inflated position for damming a waterhead formed by water 9 in the upstream portion of the water channel defined by the watercourse.

The dam envelopes 11 and 12 are fabricated from a pliable, nonexpandable and waterproof, or at least water resilient, sheet material in a conventional manner and may be constructed like the collapsible single dam envelopes described in US. Pat. No. 3,173,269.

The watercourse 13 may be an artificially constructed channel ormay be a natural water channel. For purposes of illustration, the watercourse I3 is shown as being formed of concrete and having a substantially flat, smooth bottom surface 14 and two upwardly sloping inclined side walls 15. In the watercourse 13 shown, the side walls 15 and bottom surface 14 intersect along two substantially parallel lines 16. The lines of intersection 16 extend the longitudinal dimension of the watercourse 13. 2

As shown in FIG. 2, a plurality of transversely extending recesses having upwardly extending bolts 41 anchored therein for holding clamp structure are formed in the watercourse 13. Shown are an upstream recess 20, a downstream recess 21 and one exemplary inner recess 22 located between the upstream and downstream recesses. The recess 20 is shown extending across the watercourse bottom surface 14 along a line substantially perpendicular to the lines of intersection 16 of the side walls 15 with the watercourse bottom surface 14. The recess 20 extends up each side wall 15, preferably a short distance beyond the intersection lines 16.

A side recess 23 designed to permit the inner envelope or envelopes 12 to collapse when deflated flatly against the watercourse side walls 15 is formed along the watercourse side walls 15 to extend from a point of intersection with the upstream recess 20 to a point adjacent the downstream recess 21. The upstream portions 23a of the side recesses 23 extend outwardly and upwardly from the intersection lines 16. The downstream portions 23b of the recesses 23 extend parallel to the intersection lines 16. The recesses 21 and 22 preferably extend parallel to the upstream recess 20 and are spaced apart appropriate distances along the longitudinal dimension of the watercourse 13. The inner recesses 22, one of which is shown in FIG. 2, are formed to intersect with the side recesses 23 and correspond in number to the number of inner inflatable envelopes 12 included in the dam structure 10.

An outer row 24 of the bolts 41 are anchored in the watercourse bottom 14 and side walls 15 to extend therefrom. The configuration of the portions of the outer row of bolting 24 on the watercourse side walls is designed to permit the outer envelope 11 to collapse flatly when deflated against the watercourse side walls 15. The portion 24a of the row of bolts 24 extends transversely across the watercourse parallel to the upstream recess 20. The portions 24b of the row of bolting 24 extend along the watercourse side walls 15 along lines parallel to the upstream portions 23a of the side recesses 23 to a pointdownstream from the recess 21. The downstream portions 24c of the row of bolting extend parallel to the intersection lines 16.

Conventional fluid supply means 30 are shown in FIG. 2 mounted in the watercourse bottom surface 14 between adjacent ones of the transversely extending recesses -22. These conventional fluid supply means include conduits 31 for conducting fluid to and from the points at which they open in the bottom surface 14 and are operable to control the flow of fluid to and from the inflatable envelopes mounted across the watercourse 13.

FIG. 3 illustrates the outer envelope 11' mounted to extend between the outer row of bolting 24 and the downstream recess 21. The envelope 11 is secured in place in a conventional manner by clamp structure 40 of the type described in US. Pat. No. 3,355,851. The clamp structure 40 is secured to the bolts 41 forming the outer bolting 24 and to the bolts 41 in the recess 21. It is noted that US. Pat. No. 3,355,851 was issued to lmbertson et al. and is assigned to the assignee of the present invention. 1

One inner envelope 12, which is smaller in size than the predetermined size of the outer envelope 11, is illustrated secured in position between upstream recess 20 and the inner downstream recess 22 adjacent the recess 21. The envelope 12 is secured to bolts 41 in the same manner as the envelope 11 by use of clamps 40. It is noted that all the recesses20-23 are dimensioned so that the clamp structure 40 and the upper ends of the bolts 41 positioned therein are positioned below the flat bottom surface 14 of the watercourse 13.

Another inner envelope 12 is shown, for the purpose of illustrating a plurality of envelopes 12 within the outer envelope 11, in dashed lines in FIG. 3. This envelope 12 is of a predetermined size smaller than the envelope 12 shown in solid lines. The envelope 12 shown in dashed lines is illustrated mounted to extend from the upstream recess 20 to another inner recess 22 shown in dashed lines. This other recess 22 is located upstream from the recess 22 shown in solid lines.

In operation of the plural envelope type collapsible dam 10, fluids, such as water 60 and air 61, are selectively pumped by means of the fluid supply means 30 into each of the closed regions 50-52 defined by the fluid tight envelopes 11 and 12. By appropriately controlling the fluid pumped into each of the envelopes, the pressure levels in the chambers 50-52 can be selectively controlled to cause the dam 10 and its envelopes 11 and 12 to assume a selected configuration. It is noted that the pressures within each inner envelope the upstream edgesof the envelopes 11 and 12 are mounted at substantially the same location in the watercourse 13 that each inner envelope 12 supports the outer envelope 11 from the watercourse bottom surface 14 to a selected elevation thereabove. The elevation to which each inner envelope 12 supports envelopes located outside thereof depends on the pressure levels within each of the envelopes and the pressure applied to the dam 10 by the water 9. As a result, the inner envelopes 12 support the outer envelope 11 in the region in which the greatest water pressure is being applied. Consequently, since the outer envelope 1] is being reinforced, the dam structure 10 may be constructed to a height greater than would be otherwise permitted by the strength of the material forming the outer envelope 11. This is possible since the outer envelope 11 does not now bear all the water pressure but the pressure of the water 9 is shared by the inner envelopes 12 and divided between the anchor points of each of the upstream and downstream edges of the envelopes 11 and 12.

It is noted that by selectively controlling the pressures within the envelopes 11 and 12 relativeto each other and the pressure of the waterhead being dammed that the amount of pressure supported by each of the envelopes 11, 12 may be controlled in a predetermined manner.

Thus, there has been provided an improved collapsible dam and method of damming water in which a plurality of watertight envelopes are mounted one inside the other and the pressures of the envelopes are selectively set so that each inner envelope supports a predetermined portion of the water pressure against its outer envelope or envelopes.

It is noted that the dam structure 10 is extremely difficult to sabotage since for a saboteur to pierce all envelopes at the same time the lower upstream portions of the envelopes would have to be punctured. Such an operation would be extremely hazardous for a saboteur since he would have to dive to the bottom of the upstream side of the dam and would consequently be washed downstream if the dam collapsed.

It is noted that by mounting the bolts 41 and clamp structure 40 located downstream and inward of the row of bolting 24 in the recesses 20-23 that the envelopes 11 and 12 of the darn 10 when deflated will not rest upon the upper ends of downstream bolts 41. Thus, wear on the envelopes 11 and 12 which could be caused by contact of the envelopes with the bolt ends is avoided. Additionally, it is noted that any suitable type of control mechanism for controlling the pressures within the inflatable dam envelopes may be used, any suitable method for mounting. the dam envelopes in the watercourse may be employed, and the watertight dam envelopes may be constructed in any suitable manner. Suitable control mechanisms, manners of mounting the envelopes and ways of forming the envelopes are described in the aforementioned US. Pat. Nos. 3,173,269 and 3,355,851.

Although I have herein shown and described my invention in what I have conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of my invention.

1 claim:

1. A collapsible dam structure for damming a watercourse, comprising:

an outer inflatable envelope of a first inflated predetermined cross-sectional size mounted to extend 3 8 34, l 67 5 6 across said watercourse, said outer envelope being 2. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein strucoperable when inflated to dam said watercourse, ture means recessed in said watercourse are provided and having upstream and downstream portions relfor mounting the edges of said envelopes below the ative to the longitudinal dimension of said waterl i f id wat r edges of said envelopes are mounted at substan- COUISe; u 5 3. A method of damming a waterhead, comprising: atslgiaisgolrtieerlgpsgiljtgglg ienlglgzpleltltggg fiirg gifg danf ming tge waterhgad with a first inflatedhenvelope o a re etermme cross sectiona size avin an second inflated predetermined cross-sectional size upstrgam portion facing Said waterhead i 8 g r 53rd first gg Concemnc trrerewrrg downstream portion spaced therefrom, said first a a r igi g gg g ifig z fig gzg f p g g q 10 envelope having a first selected fluid pressure level therein; wlth and suppomllg Sald upstream supporting at least a portion of the inside surface of of said outer envelope, fluid control means associl said upstream portion of said first inflated envelope ated with said envelopes to independently inflate with a Second inflated envelo m m d th r and deflate said envelopes to appropriate pressure 5- d t t pe e d 9" levels within said envelopes dependent upon the an cgncen 92 5d] i ope g exterior water pressure against said darn structure, a P etermme CrOS,SSecuOna Sma er an each of said envelopes include upstream and downfirst envelopeismd Second envelope a Stream edges extending normal to the longitudinal second selected fiuld pressure level therein higher dimension of said watercourse, and the upstream than the Pressure level or Sard first envelope' 4. The method defined in claim 3, including supporting the upstream portions of the first and second inflated envelopes with at least one other envelope of selected cross-sectional size by the same method that the first inflated envelope is supported by the second inflated envelope.

tially the same location in said watercourse, and the downstream edges of said envelopes spaced from said upstream edges are mounted in spaced apart locations one from the other along the longitudinal dimension of said watercourse and said edges are generally parallel one with the other.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification405/115, 52/2.24
International ClassificationE02B7/00, E02B7/20
Cooperative ClassificationE02B7/005
European ClassificationE02B7/00B