Rubber Dam: The Characteristics and Cons and Pros of Water Retaining Structure

Apr. 09, 2024

Rubber Dam

What is rubber dam?

Rubber dam is a new type of hydraulic structure compared with steel sluice gate, and made of high-strength fabric adhering with rubber, which forms a rubber bag anchoring on basement floor of dam. Filling water or air into the dam bag, rubber dam is used for water retention. Emptying water or air from the dam bag, it is used for flood release. Rubber dam has many advantages compared to conventional weirs, such as low cost, simple hydraulic structure, short construction time, perfect seismic performance and effect of stopping leading, and low resistance to water flow in flood season.


Rubber dam applications

Rubber Dams have wide prospect in the world since they can be used especially for irrigation, and for pisciculture, hydropower generation, environmental improvement and recreation purpose. Rubber Dams are not known to have other than beneficial impact on environment and ecology.

 Rubber Dam

The advantages and disadvantages of rubber dam


The rubber dam has a low price, the dam bag closed to the bottom plate after the dam collapses and does not block water, as well as it has a certain landscape effect. Besides that, it has multiple advantages of simple structure, saving materials, low cost, short construction period, light weight, large span, and good water blocking effect, low operation cost, low technical requirements, and no damage to nature.



The dam bag is easily destroyed by man-made or punctured by floating objects in the river; the time of filling the dam and lowering the gate is long, and it takes at least 30mins to inflate water or air into the dam body with a length of 30m; the effect of sand and drift removal is poor; the pier is needed to be set when the river is wide, the amount of civil works is large; the rubber dam bag is early to age and has a short life span. Generally, it cannot be used in 5-8 years; later operation and maintenance are difficult, and the maintenance cost is high; the bag life is short in strong ultraviolet areas such as Qinghai; areas with severe siltation such as Shan-Gan-Ning and Bangladesh, have the problem of manual dredging after the flood.

Rubber Dam

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