Effect Of Transverse Stresses On The Strength Of Steel Sheet Piling And Recommended Changes In Design Procedure

Hartman, Richard J.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
Current design practice is to select steel sheet piling sections using sufficient section modulus and yield strength to resist the calculated bending moment. Thus, section modulus is the only property of the sheet pile cross section used in the selection process. Full scale laboratory testing documented that section modulus alone is insufficient to predict the strength of sheet piling. During testing, sheet pile sections with equivalent section modulus exhibited as much as 75 percent difference in load resisting capacity. Analytical study following the testing established that, in addition to the traditional longitudinal (vertical) stress in sheet piling, transverse (horizontal) stresses are also present. Transverse stresses reduce the ability of the sheet piling to function in the intended manner. It was found that transverse stresses result from the pressure applied by soil and water and that the capacity of the sheet piling diminishes with increased pressure. All sheet piling is subject to this behavior. This paper describes the testing and the results and establishes that a problem exists. A two dimensional procedure is described that assists in evaluating transverse stresses and their effect on sheet pile capacity. A method of creating design aids for use by engineers is illustrated.
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