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3 Most Common Types of Cofferdams

Construction building near water poses a number of challenges. Whether you’re building a bridge or constructing an office building, there is a need for reliable water control. Today, the best solution is a cofferdam. Keep your work areas dry and secure with a type of cofferdam that will meet your construction requirements.

Getting rid of water in construction is an ever-present problem on worksites and building projects. That’s the importance of cofferdams. Learn about the 3 most common types being used today. Click To Tweet

Types of Coffer Dams

A coffer-dam can be defined as a structure that holds or guards water away from a work area. By dewatering a worksite, construction crews are able to do use their equipment and materials with better precision. To better understand the capabilities of cofferdams, consider the differences between the three most common types.

  1. Braced Cofferdams
  2. Cellular Cofferdams
  3. Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam

1) Braced Cofferdams

Generally used in shallow water levels or bridge pier construction, braced cofferdams are formed from a single wall of sheet piling. Each sheet pile is driven into the water and then braced together. By creating a box around the excavation site, water can be pumped out of the enclosed interior to create a dry site.

2) Cellular Cofferdams

Reserved for circumstances where excavation size precludes the use of cross-excavation bracing, cellular cofferdams are designed with steel sheeting. By forming a watertight wall, each steel sheet pile is filled with clay or sand to provide stability against lateral forces. There are two different types of cellular cofferdams, including the diaphragm and circular type:

  • Diaphragm Type – Consists of circular arcs in the inner and outer sides of the cofferdam. The cell is usually filled with sand or coarse-grained soils to weigh the sheet piles down and secure overall stability.
  • Circular Type – Consists of a set of large diameter circular cells interlocked by smaller arcs placed in-between. Each circular cell is filled independently, providing greater strength against lateral pressures.

3) Aqua-Barrier Water-Inflated Dams

Unlike traditional cofferdams, the Aqua-Barrier is a water-inflated dam. Moreover, it can be used alone or together with other dams to absorb various depths of water. Instead of having to pump the water into another location, Aqua-Barrier innovatively pumps excess water into itself to provide stability. Designed with industry-grade vinyl-coated polyester, each inflatable dam will protect the area to be enclosed with durability.

Pro Tip: Use the AquaBarrier in a variety of construction projects including culverts, boat ramps, pipelines, bridges, and many others.

Reliability for Your Work Area

At the end of the day, finding reliable water control systems is crucial for construction projects to be completed safely and on time. Without a dry site, pouring concrete, driving equipment, or welding materials could become hazardous. If you have a construction project located near a body of water, choose a dewatering solution you can trust.

Connect with our sales associates to design a custom water control system for your next construction job.