About Diaphragm wall and Retaining wall?

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*A retaining wall is a structure that holds back soil or rock from a building, structure or area. Retaining walls prevent downslope movement or erosion and provide support for vertical or near-vertical grade changes. Cofferdams and bulkheads, structures that hold back water, are sometimes also considered retaining walls. Retaining walls are generally made of masonry, stone, brick, concrete, vinyl, steel or timber. Once popular as an inexpensive retaining material, railroad ties have fallen out of favor due to environmental concerns. They also decompose over time.

Segmental retaining walls have gained favor over poured-in-place concrete walls or treated-timber walls. They are more economical, easier to install and more environmentally sound.

The most important consideration in proper design and installation of retaining walls is that the retained material is attempting to move forward and downslope due to gravity. This creates a soil pressure behind the wall which depends on the angle of internal friction (phi) and the cohesive strength (c) of the retained material, as well as the direction and magnitude of movement the retaining structure undergoes. Lateral earth pressures are typically smallest at the top of the wall and increase toward the bottom. Earth pressures will push the wall forward or overturn it if not properly addressed. Also, any groundwater behind the wall that is not dissipated by a drainage system causes an additional horizontal hydraulic pressure on the wall.
-Diaphragm walls are underground structural elements commonly used for retention systems and permanent foundation walls. They can also be used as deep groundwater barriers.

Diaphragm walls are constructed using the slurry trench technique, which was developed in Europe and has been used in the United States since the 1940's. The technique involves excavating a narrow trench that is kept full of an engineered fluid or slurry. The slurry exerts hydraulic pressure against the trench walls and acts as shoring to prevent collapse. Slurry trench excavations can be constructed in all types of soil, even below the ground water table.

Diaphragm walls are commonly used in congested areas. They can be installed in close proximity to existing structures with minimal loss of support to existing foundations. In addition, construction dewatering is not required, so there is no associated subsidence.

The cut and cover method is used to construct tunnels. Two parallel diaphragm walls are installed and the area between the walls is excavated. Floor and roof slabs are poured and area above the roof is backfilled.

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