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Trench stability under bentonite pressure in purely cohesive clay
journal contributionposted on 2014-02-01, 00:00 authored by An-Jui Li, R S Merifield, H D Lin, A V Lyamin
Trench stability is a conventional geotechnical problem; however, current evaluations are often based entirely on empiricism. This paper uses numerical finite-element upper and lower bound limit analysis to produce stability charts for two-dimensional and three-dimensional homogeneous and inhomogeneous undrained diaphragm wall trenches. Using the limit theorems cannot only provide a simple and useful way of analyzing the stability of the trench, but also avoid the shortcomings and arbitrary assumptions underpinning the limit equilibrium method. By considering the effects from the bentonite slurry pressures, the collapse load in this study has been bracketed to within ±8.5 or better by the numerical upper and lower bound limit analyses. The chart solutions can be used to predict either the critical depth or the safety factor of the trench and provide a convenient tool for preliminary designs by practicing engineers. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.