Pneumatic Caisson Advantages And Disadvantages

Pneumatic Caisson Advantages And Disadvantages

Pneumatic Caisson Advantages And Disadvantages

Pneumatic caissons are a type of deep foundation system used in construction. They are characterized by a working chamber that maintains a pressure greater than the atmosphere, preventing water and soil from entering the chamber.


  • Economic: Pneumatic caissons are considered cost-effective in certain conditions.
  • Environmentally Friendly: They cause less sound pollution and reduced vibration, making them more environmentally friendly compared to other methods.
  • Adaptable: They are easily adaptable to varying underwater soil conditions.
  • High Load Capacity: Pneumatic caissons have a high horizontal and lateral loading capacity.
  • Quality Control: The quality control of pneumatic caissons is good as they are built in dry conditions.
  • Dry Working Conditions: Pneumatic caissons provide dry working conditions, advantageous for soil excavation and concrete-sealing of the caisson bottom.
  • Control Over Work: All work can be done in dry conditions, providing control over the work.
  • Obstruction Removal: Obstructions from boulders and logs can readily be removed, and excavation by blasting may be done if necessary.


  • Sensitive Construction Procedure: The construction procedure of pneumatic caissons is extremely sensitive and can be troublesome.
  • High Construction Cost: Pneumatic caissons can have a high cost of construction.
  • Depth Limitation: Pneumatic caissons cannot be sunk to depths greater than 35 m because the higher pressure below this depth cannot be resisted by the human body.
  • Manufacturing Sensitivity: Pneumatic caissons are highly sensitive to manufacturing processes.
  • Not Suitable for Polluted Places: They are not suitable for polluted places.
  • Requires Skilled Labor: The construction of pneumatic caissons requires skilled laborers and building experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Pneumatic caissons offer economic and environmental benefits in construction.
  • They can adapt to varying underwater soil conditions.
  • Pneumatic caissons have high horizontal and lateral loading capacity.
  • Minimum handling equipment is required for placement of reinforcement cage.
  • Pneumatic caissons can reach great depths.




After considering the advantages and disadvantages of pneumatic caissons, it is clear that they offer numerous benefits for construction projects. Their economic viability, adaptability to different underwater soil conditions, and high loading capacity make them a favorable choice.

However, it is important to note that the construction of pneumatic caissons can be complex and sensitive. Expert engineers and qualified workers are required to ensure a successful outcome. Additionally, workers may face health risks associated with caisson disease, making proper safety protocols a crucial aspect of the construction process.

Despite these challenges, pneumatic caissons provide dry working conditions and superior control over the construction process. This allows for excellent quality control and the ability to overcome obstructions at the bottom of caissons. Ultimately, the decision to use pneumatic caissons should be carefully evaluated based on the specific project requirements and site conditions.


What are the advantages of using pneumatic caissons?

Pneumatic caissons offer economic and environmental benefits, adaptability to varying underwater soil conditions, high loading capacity, and superior quality control in dry conditions.

When are pneumatic caissons suitable for use?

Pneumatic caissons are used in soils where driving piles are not feasible and can reach great depths. They are also effective in removing obstructions at the bottom and can be used in foundation projects subjected to lateral forces.

What are the advantages of using open caissons?

Open caissons are feasible for sinking to great depths, have relatively low construction costs, and provide a massive substructure for protection against floating objects and sand scour.

When are open caissons suitable for use?

Open caissons are advantageous in soil conditions with large boulders that obstruct other deep foundation methods. They are commonly used for bridge piers, abutments, docks, wharves, and other waterfront structures.

What are the drawbacks of using pneumatic caissons?

Pneumatic caisson construction can be complex and sensitive, requiring expert engineers and qualified workers. Workers may also face health risks from caisson disease. Additionally, construction costs may be higher than other deep foundation methods in general conditions.

Are there any challenges in the construction of open caissons?

The construction of open caissons may slow down if obstructions like boulders or logs are encountered. Furthermore, the bottom of the caisson may not be thoroughly cleaned and inspected, and the concrete seal placed in water may not be satisfactory.

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