By: Eric Kjolsing and Dan Parker
In 2018, Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. (SI) supported the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) in the structural assessment of the concrete-to-steel connection in typical I-Section flood walls. A representative flood wall section is shown in Figure 1. This effort was part of a broader scope of work in which the USACE is revising their guidance for the design of flood and retaining walls, EM 1110-2-6066. The purpose of the structural assessment was to better understand the mechanics of load transfer from the reinforced concrete section to the embedded sheet pile. Three-dimensional finite element models of the connection were developed employing non-linear constitutive properties for the concrete, structural steel and reinforcement to achieve this goal. A total of nine different I-Wall configurations with varying wall geometry, sheet pile embedment depth, and connection details were analyzed. Hydrostatic load was applied incrementally to simulate the actual load distribution due to a rising water level.