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RE: Use Sheetpiles for Shearwall

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I have designed a lot of steel sheet pile walls but have never used then for in plane shearwall resistance. It is common for adjacent sheets to be welded such that two sheets are driven as one, however, I don't know of any studies out there can provide you any shear capacities for frictional resistance of any unwelded joints. 
Matthew Stuart


From: Enas, Gordon [mailto:enas(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Mon 7/11/2005 6:47 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Use Sheetpiles for Shearwall

I have a question on sheet pile wall:


Can we use a Z-shaped sheet pile wall to resist seismic shear (In-Plan)? The sheet pile wall will protrude above the ground about 10 to 15 feet.  Normally, the primary purpose of the sheet pile wall was designed for "Out of Plan" bending as a retaining wall.   However, in this case the sheet pile wall will be used as a shearwall.  The sheetpiles will be driven into an average to poor fill levee in the California delta area. 


What our concern is the shear may stretch the Z-shape pile and does not take the design shear.  Also, the interlock joints between each sheet piles are not vertically connected together and assumed it will slip when applying the horizontal seismic shear loads.


Originally I thought the interface between soil and sheet pile at the potential failure surface is much weaker than the sheet pile itself. 


If anyone designed it before or has experience, please advise.


Thank you in advance,


Kenneth Liu, SE