Standards and regulations
Diaphragm walls are designed and manufactured in accordance with DIN EN 1538 and the recommendations of the “Construction Pits” Working Group (Empfehlungen des Arbeitskreises “Baugruben”, EAB). The stability of the opening is verified in accordance with DIN 4126.
The soil is excavated using the grab method to create a rectangular slot in the soil, while at the same time the pit is filled with support fluid (bentonite suspension). Excavation is carried out in sections using a cable excavator and diaphragm wall grab. Guide walls are built beforehand along the route the diaphragm wall will follow to guide the grab.
In subsequent work stages, the suspension is regenerated, the reinforcement and a stop-end element are installed to form the next element, and concrete is poured using the contractor method (from the bottom up). The individual elements are lined up next to each other and are connected with special joint profiles so as to form a wall that, according to structural findings, is technically watertight.
Generally speaking, diaphragm walls are between 0.45m and 2m thick, at depths typically ranging from 20m to 40m. In each case, these depend on the type of grab used. Diaphragm wall cutters can also be used for depths of 40m and more.
Energy diaphragm walls
The reinforcement cages of the diaphragm walls can be fitted with PE pipes as circulation conduits. This allows the diaphragm wall to be thermally activated as a solid absorber in contact with the ground. Since many different factors can influence the economic efficiency of the energy diaphragm wall during planning and execution, the designer of the energy system and the execution team must work closely together.