cofferdam


cofferdam
/kaw"feuhr dam', kof"euhr-/, n.
1. a watertight enclosure placed or constructed in waterlogged soil or under water and pumped dry so that construction or repairs can proceed under normal conditions.
2. Naut. a sealed void between two bulkheads, as for insulation or as an extra barrier to the escape of liquids or vapors.
[1730-40; COFFER + DAM1]

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Watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water in order to permit the construction of a pier or other hydraulic work.

Cofferdams are made by driving metal sheetpiling (a series of thin, interlocking panels) into the bed to form a watertight fence. Roman engineers used cofferdams to found the piers of their arch bridges and aqueducts. See also caisson.

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      watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water in order to permit the construction of a pier or other hydraulic work. Cofferdams are made by driving sheetpiling, usually steel in modern works, into the bed to form a watertight fence. The vertical piles are held in place by horizontal framing members that are constructed of heavy timber, steel, or a combination of the two.

      The sides of a cofferdam must be sturdy and well-braced to withstand the shock of being hit by a heavy dredging bucket; they must also be able to withstand the horizontal forces from the surrounding body of water when the water inside is pumped from the cofferdam. The cofferdam goes back at least to Roman engineers, who built a number of these enclosures to found the piers of their stone-arch bridges and aqueducts. Compare caisson.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cofferdam — Cof fer*dam, n. A water tight inclosure, as of piles packed with clay, from which the water is pumped to expose the bottom (of a river, etc.) and permit the laying of foundations, building of piers, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cofferdam — Cofferdam, s. Kofferdamm …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cofferdam — (engl.), s.v.w. Kofferdamm …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • cofferdam — [kɔfɛʀdam] n. m. ÉTYM. 1891 (Année sc. et industr. 1892, p. 147); de l angl. coffer « coffre », et dam « digue ». ❖ ♦ Techn. (mar.). Séparation formée par deux cloisons transversales entre un compartiment à cargaison et la chambre des machines…… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cofferdam — m DEFINICIJA v. koferdam …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • cofferdam — [kôf′ərdam΄, käf′ərdam΄] n. [ COFFER + DAM1] 1. a watertight temporary structure in a river, lake, etc., for keeping the water from an enclosed area that has been pumped dry so that a bridge foundation, dam, or pier may be constructed 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • Cofferdam — A cofferdam on the Ohio River near Olmsted, Illinois, built for the purpose of constructing the Olmsted Lock and Dam …   Wikipedia

  • Cofferdam — Un cofferdam ou maille sèche est un espace de séparation entre deux parties de la coque d un navire ; il est délimité par deux cloisons étanches de part et d autre. Les cofferdams sont utilisés sur les navires cargo pour séparer la salle des …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cofferdam — noun Date: 1736 1. a watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bottom of a body of water and permit construction (as of a pier) 2. a watertight structure for making repairs below the waterline of a ship …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cofferdam — noun a) A temporary watertight structure that is pumped dry to enclose an area underwater and allow construction work on a ship, bridge, or rig to be carried out; a caisson. b) An empty space that acts as a protective barrier between two floors… …   Wiktionary