Due to the dangerous nature of excavation, excavation support is crucial. It seems even the Earth would agree, as natural counter-pressure is applied by all soil on the Earth's surface. The trouble is, when an excavation is performed, that counter-pressure is lessened, and sometimes removed entirely. This can cause a great deal of hazard for any workers toiling away in the trenches (in all senses of that expression).
In addition to such natural methods of excavation support, mankind has devised more ways to keep the tunnels and holes we dig from collapsing in around us. These include a variety of methods, most involving some form of retaining wall. The type of retaining structure uses can greatly impact the working conditions for those people involved in the actual excavation, so it is vital that a proper method of excavation support is chosen prior to (or sometimes on an ongoing basis) the beginning of the project.
Some of the most popular methods of excavation support include the simple retaining wall, the more advanced pilings & wood combination retainers, and even natural rock, if the excavation is deep enough. The most common is usually the combination retaining wall. To make one, a series of metal pilings are driven into strategic points in and around the excavation site before any work begins, Then, at a point in the excavation process which can vary widely, wooden support structures called lagging are inserted, to better bear and distribute the weight of the soil surrounding the excavation site.
Physics, surprisingly enough, plays a great part in the ability of any excavation support structure to adequately perform its intended function. The most common forces at work in any excavation support system are pressure, counter-pressure, and tension. It is in using these three forces that a few wooden beams are able to hold in check tons of soil which would otherwise cause great harm to the workers who depend upon there not being a cave-in.
To learn more about excavation support, it is suggested that you contact a professional in the construction field, preferably an excavation manager. They should be able to answer any questions you might have.Back to Top