Some construction investments cannot begin without the use of a diaphragm wall system. This is due to safety issues. Let’s find out about diaphragm walls and the role steel pipes play in their construction.
Diaphragm walls – what are they?
Attempts to build diaphragm walls were first made in the early 1950s. It was not possible to excavate more than 100 metres at a time with the technology available then. Some 20 years later, the technology for building diaphragm walls improved. It was not only possible to increase the depth of the trench, but the technology was also more precise.
Diaphragm walls, as the name suggests, are formed in a hole in the ground. These are concrete or reinforced structures, consisting of separate sections cut into the ground. These constructions, however, are only the first part of the building about to be built.
Diaphragm walls are most often used in the construction of buildings with many levels deep underground. Their application in underground transport infrastructure is also well known. Diaphragm walls are necessary for the construction of underground railways and subways.
The main advantage of using diaphragm walls is the ability to accelerate the primary implementation of a project. The numerous applications of diaphragm walls also helps to minimize construction costs. Of course, it should not be forgotten that diaphragm walls ensure safety by stabilizing the excavation site.
The construction of diaphragm walls comes within the branch of specialized geotechnical engineering. A contractor should have appropriate knowledge and experience, as the safety of the site depends on proper construction of the diaphragm walls.
When are diaphragm walls used?
Diaphragm walls are used in specific cases. They can be a temporary or permanent solution, depending on their function in a given project. Their use as a temporary solution is usually dictated by the safety of the construction works. These walls, when used as a permanent solution, are treated as one of the elements of the erected structure.
Let’s discuss the specific functions of diaphragm walls.
First, diaphragm walls are often necessary to enable a construction crew to carry out engineering and building work safely at great depths below the ground. Properly supported diaphragm walls prevents accidental sliding of the excavation walls.
Second, diaphragm walls are a rigid, stable structural system. For this reason, they can be used as a basement wall or the foundation for a building. Diaphragm walls take part in load transmission, providing support against both horizontal and vertical forces.
Third, an important feature of diaphragm walls is their watertightness. Due to this, these walls can be used as a water barrier in dams or so-called anti-filtration barrier. For example, they are a protection against the penetration of petroleum substances.
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The use of steel pipes in diaphragm walls
As previously mentioned, a diaphragm wall is composed of wall sections. Separating elements must be used when creating the sections. Most often, these elements are steel pipes or flat elements equipped with gaskets.
Steel pipes constitute a kind of strut between the two sections. Their use is necessary to provide the structure with the desired stability. Usually, the struts are mounted on top of the wall, where steel brand anchoring elements have previously been concreted.
Steel pipes of various diameters, ideal for the expanding function during the construction of diaphragm walls, can be purchased from FERGES. To find out more details of our offer, please contact the sales department.