You are on page 1of 3

Strutting System An Alternative Solution for Deep Excavations

Retaining walls for deep excavations in civil engineering works is often must be combined temporary horizontal retaining / propping system in order to meet the wall stability requirement. One of the temporary horizontal retaining system is called strutting system. The strutting system that had been practised in Indonesia mostly still in the form of a simple strut and limited for smaller scale of excavation such as trenching. The main considerations that lead to lack of selection of Strut system for large-scaleexcavation is in terms of cost. Due to the material common used as strutting system are of steel H beam or steel pipe, where the recent prices are continuosuly increasing in the market, so that more practitioners choose the type of other retaining methods such as ground anchor system. But if we explore further, based on the authors experience, application of strutting system do have some advantages from safety aspect, speed of work and cost efficiency if implemented innovative. In the other developed Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan & Singapore, recently also countries like Malaysia and Vietnam, strutting system usage is widespread. The most common system adopted is prefabricated system using H beams with bolt and nut jointing system. This system have some advantages such as: -Materials can be rented and not necessarily to be purchased. -Materials can be recycled many times. -By using bolt and nut connections, the welding of joints are not required (or at least with the minimum numbers). This will shortened the time for installation and dismantle of strutting system, also the material losses due to cutting after weld could be avoided. -It can be combined with hydraulic jack, since pre loading step can be applied, this can reduce the early wall displacement. Apart from the abovementioned, we can said that strutting system has certain advantages such as: -It is a non slurry solution and will not mess up or contaminate the soil / land at working area. -Twenty four hours control can be applied on material quality and deflection by visual inspection and by the assistance of tools like load cell or strain gauges, the actual loading can be read.

-Capacity of strut is not depend of soil behind the wall (difference with ground anchor, no friction required). Below are some of the typical layout arrangement of strutting system: 1. Horizontal perpendicular type This type is the most conservative type in terms of stability. Laid perpendicular one another, it requires a well planned and organised excavation method. King posts are usually placed at the intersections.

2. Concentrated horizontal type Similar to perpendicular type, only in some cases king posts are not required. Longer span can be obtained by using bigger strut profiles or double laced combination.

3. Corner horizontal type It is suitable best on square shape cofferdam / retaining wall layout with struts at the four corners, but not limited to other shapes of walls. Stability of the walls must be more considered more carefully if this type is applied. 4. Inclined type

Strut members forming angle against horizontal plane. For very large excavation area, this type can save a lot of strut materials usage. Strut balancing forces are obtained from retaining wall pressure against concrete slab at the center of excavation area. Sequence of the excavation must be controlled properly since it is more critical as compared to other types. 5. Combination type This type is combination among those types mentioned above or with other method of temporary retaining, adapted to the needs in the site, to produce an efficient method.

Often in application, strutting system is combined with platform made of metal deck. In general it can be said that design aspect of strutting system is very simple. It is important to note that when designing the retaining wall, a good geotechnical modelling will resulted in the more accurate working force on strut.

With the more growing numbers of construction and infrastructure development in our country, the application of strutting system for deep excavations such as building basement, Mass Rapid Transit facilities, power plants, etc., is having a good prospect in the near future Finally, it is the authors hope - that as a reference - this article could be benefited to the readers. (Hardy Willim)