Diaphragm walls are structural concrete walls built utilizing the slurry excavation technique. The walls are generally excavated under a bentonite slurry in panels and reinforced with steel prior to placement of concrete. The end result is a reinforced concrete wall with water seal at cold joints.

Diaphragm walls are commonly used in congested areas for retention systems and permanent foundation walls. 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. Due to a diaphragm walls’ ability to keep deformation low and cause little vibration, they are convenient for civil engineering projects in densely populated metropolitan areas.

 

Illustration of diaphragm wall construction:

Diaphragm wall construction