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# COFFERDAMS

Where pa = lateral pressure on the wall at any depth z from the surface of fill
R = radius of the cell

Since pa increases with the depth, the total hoop-tension force for a cell of total depth H is

T = H2KAr (17.13)

Where,
= effective unit weight of fill material
And KA = Coefficient of earth pressure due to Rankine or Coulomb

If a sheet pile rests on a rock bed or is embedded in soil, a restraining force preventing the lateral movement of the
cell is developed at the base. This effect causes the maximum pressure to be developed at a depth H 1 0.75 H0,
where Ho = height of the sheet piling above the point of fixty, or embedment. The depth of the point of fixity from the
top is taken, for all practical purposes, as the average of the total height of the cell and the depth of water above 0.75
Ho, the river bed.

The triangular distribution of earth pressure pa for the entire height of sheet piling is shown in Fig. 17.3(a). When fixity
condition prevails, the soil pressure distribution will be as shown in Fig 17.3(b). The area of this triangle gives the
total lateral earth pressure acting on the cell. If we assume the pressure distribution on the entire height H of piling
with the fixity condition prevailing at depth the total lateral earth pressure is

Pa = H(0.75HC)KA (17.14)
Therefore, the adjusted loop-tension force is
T = Par = H(0.75HC)KAr
= 3/8HHCKAr (17.15)
The friction force in the interlock is therefore
Fi = Tf = 3/8HHCKArf (17.16)

## Where f = Coefficient of interlock friction which may be taken as 0.3

Since the analysis is usually performed in a unit length of cell (say 1 meter length), the shear resistance per unit
length of cell is

Fi = Fi = 3/8HHCKAf r (17.17)
L L

Where L = distance between cross walls for diaphragm type cellular dams, and L = r, the radius, for circular cells.
The hoop tension per unit length of circular cell is therefore
Fi = 3/8HHCKAf (17.18)
The total cell shear resistance, FCr is therefore, for a circular cell type confferdam
FCr = H2KA tan + 3/8HHCKAf (17.19)
The factor of safety, FS for the overtuning shear force may be written as
FS = FCf
V
or

FS = Fcr 2B
3Mo (17.20)
The factor of safety recommended varies from 1.1 to 1.25
4. Resistance to Bursting
The cell should be stable against bursting pressure. The critical locations are in the interlock points and
inFs and Ys used for the connecting area. The bursting pressure is the maximum hoop-tension developed in the
interlock at a depth H1 from the surface of fill. The maximum pressure pa at depth H1 0.75HC as shown in Fig
17.3(b) is equal to

Pa = H1

## Where w = unit weight of water

H = depth of water above the point of maximum pressure pa

The allowable value for the interlock tension T, depends on the size and shape of the rolled steel sheet pile sections.
The computed maximum interlock tension, should not exceed the maximum stress specified by the manufacturers of
steel sheet piles.

According to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the stress T1 in a 900 Tee, used for the connecting arc, can be
obtained as an approximation from

T1 = T
cos (17.22)
where T is obtained from Eqn. (17.21), and is the angle of intersection of the connecting arcs as shown in Fig.
17.1(a)

## Cofferdams on Deep Layers of Sand or Clay

The principle of analysis cofferdams founded on deep layers of sand or clay is the same as that applied to
cofferdams on rock. In addition the following requirements must be satisfied.

1. The sheet piling must be driven to such a depth at which level the bearing capacity of the soil should be at least
1.5 times the maximum vertical pressure transmitted to the soil by the cellfill.

The maximum pressure transmitted to the soil by the cellfill when the sheet pile is subjected to lateral force may
be written as
Fv = 1/2H2.KA tan (17.23)
Where Fv = vertical pressure per unit length of sheet of piling,
= Effective unit weight of cellfill
H = Height of cell
KA = Coefficient of active earth pressure
= Angle of friction between cell fill and piling

2. Cellular cofferdams to be founded on sand bed should be designed to prevent boiling at the toe due to seepage
of water.

Figure 17.4 gives the section of a cellular cofferdam founded on sand with the flow nets drawn. Due to high
permeability of the soil, water retained on behind the dam percolates below its base at a relatively large velocity and
rise up in front of the toe. If the seepage pressure in front of the toe is more than the buoyant weight of the soil,
boiling of sand or quick sand condition develops. The danger of boiling can readily be eliminated by the use of loaded
filter as explained in Art. 13-20. As an alternative, the sheet piling may be driven to a great depth in order to eliminate
the boiling condition. The depth of sheet piling below the bed level required for this purpose is approximately equal to
0.67 H where H is the height of sheet pile above the bed.
2. Cellular Cofferdams founded on clay should be investigated for the bearing capacity of the clay at the toe
end of the dam. The maximum height of the Cofferdam above the bed level is a function of the undrained
shear strength of clay. The equation for the critical height HC may be written as

HC = 5.7 Cu (17.24)

Where cu = undrained shear strength of clay
= effective unit weight of cell fill

If a minimum factor of safety of 1.5 is used, the allowable height of cofferdam above the clay bed is

H = 3.8 Cu (17.25)