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Mechanical characterization of a hydraulic fill sand and FEM simulation of cellular cofferdams at Carena project

Gonzalo Rellán, Iñaki García Mendive, Ignacio Ezama and Alejo Sfriso
Sunday, November 15, 2015
First presented: 
XV Panamerican Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

The Carena project is located at Puerto Belgrano Naval Base in Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires Province in Argentina. The project consists of the temporary watertight closure of dry dock Nº 2 for maintenance and repair of the dock’s infrastructure. The closure was effected by means of a cellular cofferdam composed of three main cells 21.8m in diameter linked by connecting arcs and two kidney-shaped cells that connect the cofferdam to the wharf wall. The structure was built with 20m-long driven sheet piles and filled with hydraulic sand which was densified by vibration after placement. The soils mechanics laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires performed the physical and mechanical characterization of the Carena sand by means of consolidated drained (CIDC) and undrained (CIUC) triaxial tests at different relative densities and effective confinement pressures. A desktop study was performed that included the calibration of the Hardening Soil Constitutive Model (HSM) for various relative densities and the execution of a finite element numerical model of the whole closure in Plaxis 3D.

Feature Author

Alejo Oscar Sfriso

Alejo O. Sfriso is a Principal Engineer with 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering for infrastructure and mining works. He is an expert in the application of numerical methods for geotechnical design and analysis. In addition to his activity at SRK, he is the Director of AOSA - Geotechnical Laboratory, Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geology of the University of Buenos Aires, Vice President for South America of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering for the period 2017 - 2021, former Professor of Geotechnics at the National University of La Plata and former President of the Argentinean Society of Geotechnical Engineering.

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PhD, Civil Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
SRK North America