Publication Abstract

DFI Journal: Vol II November 2008, (DFI)

Lateral Earth Pressure on Lagging in Soldier Pile Wall Systems
Howard Perko; John Boulden

Soldier pile and lagging is a conventional means of temporary excavation shoring. Timber lagging design has traditionally been based upon the designer’s experience or empirical rules. One such method is the Goldberg Zoino chart used by the Federal Highway Administration. Most of these methods restrict the designer to a consistent soil profile, certain pile spacing, construction grade timber lagging, and limited depth. The methods do not take into account surcharge loads or a variety of other factors that could arise. A designer working outside of ordinary circumstances with unusual loads, varying soil conditions, or alternate lagging materials has difficulty estimating lateral earth pressures. In rigid earth retention systems, lateral earth pressure is generally assumed to be constant along the length of the wall. In soldier pile and lagging systems, the lagging is often considerably less stiff than the steel soldier piles. As the lagging deflects, the soil tends to bridge between the stiffer elements resulting in a lower pressure on the lagging. Several previously published methods by others for determining this reduced pressure are summarized and discussed. These methods typically consist of using a portion of the active earth pressure in several different pressure distributions. A simple theoretical model is presented for determination of lateral earth pressures on wood lagging. The model is based on a three-dimensional “silo” shaped sliding wedge analysis. Results of the model are compared with other published methods. The model compares well with these methods which cover the normal spectrum of design situations. In addition, the model can be used to estimate lateral earth pressures outside typical situations.

 article #1622; publication #1001 (DFIJ-II)