What Does Slurry Walls Mean In Construction?

What Does Slurry Walls Mean In Construction?

What Does Slurry Walls Mean In Construction?

Slurry walls are deep wall structures made of concrete, reinforced concrete or binding agents placed in the building ground to provide a static or sealing function. Their production involves the excavation of trenches in panels, with a support fluid such as bentonite suspension surrounding the trench to prevent caving in.

The single phase method requires self-hardening suspension remaining within the trench, whilst in the two-phase method it is pumped out and replaced with materials like concrete upon reaching final depth. The combined method uses precast elements, steel elements or sealing panels that are inserted into non-hardened suspension.

Duty cycle crawler cranes are employed for slurry wall installation and fitted with grabs or hydromills for more efficient building operations.

Construction Of Slurry Walls

Slurry walls are constructed by first building concrete guide walls of approximately 1 metre (3 feet 3 in) deep and 0.5 metres (1 feet 8 in) thick to outline the desired trench. These walls direct a special clamshell-shaped digger or hydromill trench cutter, which is suspended from a crane, during excavation to reach the design depth of the first wall segment.

As excavation is happening, the trench is simultaneously filled with slurry – usually a mixture of bentonite and water – which provides outward pressure that balances the inward hydraulic forces and keeps water out of the trench.

This ensures that the trench walls remain stable. The density of the slurry needs to be carefully monitored and adjusted appropriately in order to provide enough outward pressure for proper stability and prevention of collapse.

Excavation begins by excavating the trench with a muck-grabbing machine, filling it with slurry to prevent collapse. The excavator is then lifted and moved along the trench guide walls to continue the trench with successive cuts as needed.

An area is then blocked off using slurry walls, which are successively extended to enclose an area, stopping water and softened earth from flowing in.

Once a particular depth of trench is reached, a reinforcing cage is lowered into the slurry-filled pit and the pit is filled with concrete using trem i.e. pipes, displacing the bentonite slurry which can be recycled or stored in tanks for use in the next wall segment.

Once the concrete has hardened, excavation within this newly concrete-wall-enclosed area can commence.

To prevent the concrete wall from collapsing into the newly excavated area, temporary supports such as tiebacks or internal crossbeams are installed. Once the structure within the walled-off area is completed, it provides stability and support to the wall.

This makes it possible to remove any additional bracing or tieback that was installed as a precautionary measure. The structural integrity of the wall is therefore maintained, and its collapse into the newly excavated area is prevented.

Purposes Of Slurry Wall Construction

Slurry walls are used for various purposes in underground construction, like controlling seepage, creating cut-off curtains, preventing polluted ground water from entering the construction site and forming gas barriers for landfills.

These walls can be made with a variety of materials such as bentonite slurry, grout mixtures or even soil cement. Additionally, these walls can be built using either vertical or inclined design depending on the purpose and particular site conditions.

Why Is It Called A Slurry Wall?

A slurry wall is so-called because it is constructed by injecting a bentonite slurry, which is a liquid clay into an excavated trench. This type of barrier offers the benefit of providing dense enough material to keep out groundwater and prevent the walls from collapsing.

Bentonite slurry is ideal for this task as it has ideal properties that make it suitable to use when constructing walls in confined spaces.

By using this method, a strong and reliable wall can be created without having to use other materials such as steel or concrete making the process more efficient and cost effective.

Is A Slurry Wall A Foundation?

A slurry wall is a highly effective foundation system that can provide a combination of lateral retention, load bearing capacity and waterproofing. It is a permanent structure that consists of trenches filled with a mixture of soil, cement and water to create a strong concrete-like material.

This material then serves as the retaining wall and provides significant structural strength to the foundation itself. By distributing loads over a greater area than traditional foundations, it also increases stability and minimizes settlement.

Its waterproofing capabilities also make it ideal for structures in flood-prone areas or locations where moisture penetration needs to be prevented. In sum, the slurry wall is an innovative solution for providing stable and secure foundations that are both structurally sound and waterproof.

What Material Is Slurry Wall?

Slurry walls are an important deep wall structure used in construction for static or sealing purposes. Constructed from concrete, reinforced concrete or binding agents, these walls are built by excavating trenches into panels and then holding the soil in place with a support fluid (usually bentonite suspension) to prevent it from caving in.

Slurry walls are commonly used to enhance the structural integrity of buildings around drainage areas and can also be used as retaining walls or barriers against water infiltration.

How Thick Is A Slurry Wall?

Slurry walls are an effective barrier for retaining groundwater, ground contaminants, and underground construction. They typically range in depth from 0.6 to 1.2 meters (2 to 4 feet) and can reach depths of up to 30 meters (100 feet).

Slurry walls are constructed out of a mixture of soil, clay, cement, and water that is stabilized by adding a chemical binder. This creates a thick wall-like structure that is strong enough to resist the forces of hydrostatic pressure and remain stable over time.

A slurry wall is an important part of many large civil engineering projects as it helps to contain hazardous materials and protect nearby structures from damage due to subsidence or other causes.

Are Slurry Walls Permanent?

Slurry walls are an effective way to create underground walls that can provide a range of benefits. During their construction, these walls serve as groundwater cutoffs and soil retention systems during the excavation phase of a project; afterwards, they can become permanent underground walls with load-bearing capabilities for the finished structure.


Due to this, slurry walls are highly versatile and have gained wide popularity as a reliable and cost-effective way to construct underground structures.

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