A diaphragm wall is a continuous earth retaining structure. It is a reinforced concrete wall that is installed or cast in sections. The construction of a diaphragm wall consists of excavating a trench in the ground, holding the excavation open with supporting slurry, installing the reinforcement, and then tremie pouring concrete, displacing the slurry.
- The wall acts as a hydraulic cut off, making it ideal for use in saturated or water-bearing ground.
- Diaphragm walls can be used for load bearing superstructure loads.
- When shoring for deep excavations, the diaphragm wall is constructed prior to excavation, resulting in easier earthworks construction. Earthworks can continue unimpeded, which is not the case with discontinuous retaining walls. This also results in less congestion on the worksite, increasing productivity and minimizing safety hazards.
- Because of low vibration levels during installation and a small footprint, these walls can be constructed adjacent to existing structures.
- Diaphragm walls are used in deep excavation shoring, as dam cut-off walls, and for slope stabilization.
- They are a great solution for congested construction sites.