Sheet piling is an essential part of the construction industry, and it allows engineers to design reliable walls. Sheet piles are sections of steel or wooden sheets that are driven into the ground to reinforce and support the construction process. Remember that vibratory hammers are used in sheet piling. Read this Ultimate Guide to Sheet Piling to find out all about how sheet piling works and when engineers implement sheet piles.
Let’s start our Ultimate Guide to Sheet Piling as the name suggests, sheet piles are narrow sheets of specific materials that are fitted together to form a structured and watertight wall or barrier. Sheet piles are usually made of steel sheets, but wood is also common to make these useful tools. Note that anti-corrosive coating is required as an essential feature of sheet piles, so manufacturers consider this by employing the required formulas.
Sheet piling can be used to provide permanent, stable, and durable foundations when a poured concrete foundation is required. Experts use this method to foolproof the first construction step when an underground structure such as a basement should be built with high reliability.
There are different types of sheet piles, and you have a wide range of choices for your specific project. Based on the soil properties and the area you are building your project in, you can pick and choose from a list of sheet piles and benefit from their unique features.
Here is a list of the most common types of sheet piles used for construction projects:
If anyone is to write an Ultimate Guide to Sheet Piling, steel sheet piles must be on top of their list! Theses are designed with a vertical interlocking system that creates a continuous wall. These construction tools provide you with a wide selection of shapes and sizes and you don’t have limitations if there is a need to use steel piles in your project.
Due to the properties of this material, steel piles are one of the best solutions to create protective walls against soil or water.
Steel piles are typically installed using vibratory hammers, press systems, and impact hammers, and you can easily reach the required depth.
Vinyl sheet piling is an effective earth retention and excavation support material that offers a wide range of benefits for your projects. These materials offer considerable resistance against water and settlement, and they are increasingly becoming popular for the construction of bulkheads, seawalls, etc.
Vinyl sheets are easy to install and use, and they are manufactured in different forms and shapes with good size tolerance. As compared to steel piles, vinyl sheets are lighter, making them much easier to handle and install in construction projects.
These materials can be manufactured with UV resistance features, and they are anti-corrosive in different weather conditions. The vinyl or PVC sheet pile has been a popular choice for years in many kinds of applications, including soil and water retention. Nowadays, experts are using these materials for quay walls, bridge abutments, and underground storage tanks.
In most cases, wooden piles are used for temporary structures and braced sheeting in excavation works. Wooden sheets are also useful to protect the waterfront against erosion and waves. Wooden sheets offer great protection, and these tools are used at locations where the soil height is higher than water levels.
Wood can be the best choice in many areas since it provides a more natural look and is more beautiful than steel sheet piling. If installed correctly with precise planning, wooden piling will last for decades, and you can benefit from its high resistance and durability.
Concrete piling is often processed by tongue and groove joints, and they are commonly used in permanent river canals and embankments. Concrete walls provide the desired reinforcement, and they are considered heavy and bulky materials. Therefore, heavy equipment is required to install such sheet piles and reach the best results.
We can design continuous and durable walls with this material, and the interlock between two piles is reliable to keep them together for years. This way, the damage caused by stress or rough handling is significantly reduced, making them the right solution for adverse weather conditions.
Prestressed concrete piling is used in seawater, and they offer a great range of advantages in this case.
Driving is an essential part of the process and it must be monitored and controlled carefully. In fact, when the pile penetrates the soil at the desired depth, the process should be stopped and controlled. Before moving to the next pile, obstacles should be removed if there are any, and additional care should be taken to ensure we can meet the specific requirements defined before starting the process.
In some specific conditions where there is a concern about vibrations, the sheets can be pushed into the ground using alternate solutions like hydraulic forces, and vibratory hammers aren’t used in this case.
Steel sheet piling is typically a far more cost-effective option than concrete piling, and this solution offers a number of advantages compared to concrete piling in the construction industry. Project costs are so important, especially when you’re going to lose time due to preparing and using concrete walls in your project.
For these reasons, engineers prefer steel piles in many cases, as these solutions have a ready-to-go nature. Remember that the corrosion-resistant properties of steel piles provide longevity and durability, and manufacturers consider using protective coatings and other factors to add to these features.
If your project engineer and designers prefer using steel piles in your project, there is no concern, and you can continue your project with peace of mind. Though steel piling and concrete piling have similar use cases, they are not interchangeable.
Keep in mind that each of these tools has different installation methods. All things considered, choosing the best piling material for your project depends on the project’s structural details, budget, and longevity. So, you can speak to your project’s engineer to help you with this.
Generally, sheet piles are used to support excavations for below-grade structures, such as basements, pump houses, and foundations. More than that, these strong tools can help engineers construct seawalls and bulkheads.
There are different types of sheet piles, and sheet piling can provide permanent foundations combined with extremely strong structures. When there is a need to construct an underground car park or a basement, sheet piling provides everything required for a steady structure.
Sheet piling is a great solution for construction projects, but it has some disadvantages. One thing to consider before starting the process is to analyze the soil. This is because sheet piling is a difficult process in soils with boulders or cobbles, and we can’t reach the desired wall depth in such conditions.
In some cases, sheet piling may cause disturbance for neighbors, and there may be soil settlements due to installation vibrations. All these impacts can be mitigated before starting the work, and it’s the responsibility of construction engineers and experts to consider all aspects for the best results.
Sheet piling involves using protective walls to provide earth retention and excavation support. These construction tools are commonly used in different weather conditions, and there is a wide range of sheet piles to choose from for projects. The type of sheet piling depends on the type of work (permanent or temporary), site conditions, the depth of piles, and the nature of the structure. So, you need to take some time and read about them to choose the best fit for your project.