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Numerical modelling of installation effects for diaphragm walls in sand

TitleNumerical modelling of installation effects for diaphragm walls in sand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsConti, R, de Sanctis, L, Viggiani, GMB
JournalActa Geotechnica, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 219-237
KeywordsConstitutive relations

The scopes of this work are to study the mechanisms of load transfer and the deformations of the ground during slurry trenching and concreting in dry sand and to evaluate their effects on service structural loads, wall deflections and ground displacements behind the wall caused by subsequent excavation. A series of three-dimensional finite element analyses was carried out modelling the installation of diaphragm walls consisting of panels of different length. The soil was modelled as either linearly elastic-perfectly plastic or incrementally non-linear (hypoplastic) with elastic strain range. Plane strain analyses of diaphragm walls of identical cross section were also carried out in which wall installation was either modelled or the wall was wished in place (WIP). The analyses predict ground movements consistent with the experimental observations both in magnitude and trend. The results also show that the maximum horizontal wall deflections and structural loads reduce with increasing panel aspect ratio towards a minimum which is about twice the value computed for WIP analyses. Panel aspect ratios should be larger than about three to take advantage of the three-dimensional effects. The pattern and magnitude of surface vertical displacements obtained from linearly elastic-perfectly plastic analyses, no matter whether three- or two-dimensional, are unrealistic.


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