Sheet Pile Interlock Tension-Probabilistic Design

by James Neil Kay, (M.ASCE), Asst.Prof. of Civ. and Environmental Engrg.; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 5, Pg. 411-423

Document Type: Journal Paper


A design method based on probability theory is particularly appropriate for a cellular sheet pile-type structure in which an isolated low strength interlock can cause catastrophic failure. A probabilistic approach provides for a more consistent balance between safety and economics than does the conventional method in that it properly apportions the relative uncertainties in the design parameters for each particular problem. In this study interlock strength data were combined with probability distributions representative of uncertainty in the coefficient of earth pressure and in the cell fill unit weight. Failure probabilities for a wide range of field conditions were determined through Monte Carlo simulation. Multiple regression curve fitting techniques were then used to develop the results in a nondimensional form suitable for rapid design or analysis. A design example is given and comparisons are made with results based on the conventional approach.

Subject Headings: Sheet piles | Tension members | Probability | Failure analysis | Uncertainty principles | Regression analysis | Piles | Base isolation

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