Date of Award

Summer 1970

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Robert Y. K. Cheng

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54D66


In order to study the effect compaction has on lateral earth pressures exerted on and bending moments in steel sheet pile bulkheads, an experimental study was undertaken which employed the placement of a non-cohesive soil at two specific densities against three model piles of varying thicknesses. The soil was placed both in a loose and a dense state and the bending strains and deflections of the sheet piles were measured at various stages of backfill. Surface loadings were then placed after completion of the backfilling to observe the effects these loads had on the bending moments. The results of the experiments indicated that compacting the backfill in layers to achieve a dense soil state can increase sheet pile deflections and cause bending moments to increase nearly eight times those computed theoretically. Soil placed in the loose state caused bending moments more in accord with theory. For the dense soil, increasing the sheet pile flexibility (decreasing the thickness) caused reductions in moments but the reductions were not nearly as substantial as when the sheet piles ·were allowed to relax by releasing the tie rod supports.


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