PLAXIS 3D Tutorial 04: Stability of a diaphragm wall excavation

ApplicationPLAXIS 3D
VersionPLAXIS 3D
Date created04 Oct 2018
Date modified20 Feb 2024

This lesson is concerned with a diaphragm wall that is constructed in a stiff sandy clay layer with a groundwater level at 1.0 m below the surface. The excavation process of a diaphragm wall is executed in a specific sequence to obtain the maximum support from the surrounding soil and to prevent soil collapse. A diaphragm wall consists of a number of individually constructed sections. The construction of one such section is modelled in this exercise.

A single diaphragm section is excavated in three parts, and the construction can be modelled in five phases. In the first three phases, the wall is excavated part by part in the sequence as shown in Figure 5.1. During the excavation, fluid bentonite with a unit weight of 11 kN/m 3 is simultaneously pumped in the trench so that the bentonite pressure and the arching in the soil prevent the surrounding soil from collapse. After digging of the trench has been completed, in the fourth phase, fluid concrete is poured in the trench replacing the bentonite. In the fifth phase the concrete hardens, and the diaphragm wall section is complete. The stability of the excavation is lowest in the third phase, when the section is entirely excavated and filled with bentonite. A safety factor is calculated through a phi-c reduction procedure after each phase to observe the stability of the excavation.

 Geometry of the diaphragm wall

The attached *.p3dlog file contains all the commands to generate the model. With a Bentley Geotechnical SELECT Entitlement [GSE] licence, you can use the commands runner to open the *.p3dlog file and to execute all commands in one go, see also this instruction.


See also