Walls are often needed to retain water or soil, and many builders opt to make use of steel sheet piles for this purpose. These long structural sections make use of a vertical interlocking system to create one continuous wall, and the ability of each section to perform its function depends on the soil underneath the section and the geometry. This is due to the sheet pile transferring pressure from the wall’s high side to the soil located in front of the wall. The wall created may either be permanent or temporary. What is Steel Sheet Piling and What Types Are Available?
What Is Steel Sheet Piling?
Steel sheet piling is made using either cold formed or hot rolled manufacturing processes, and the process used determines the type of interlock. With hot-rolled piles, the steel is produced at a high temperature, and this results in a tight interlock. The cold-formed method, in contrast, created a looser interlock, and this is of importance. Walls requiring low permeability and those to be used in hard driving conditions need to be of the hot rolled variety to withstand the surrounding conditions. This is the major difference between the two options.
What Is Steel Sheet Piling Used For?
One of the most common applications for steel sheet piles is to support excavations. Many users find this option viable when they wish to create a barrier to groundwater flow, and bulkheads and seawalls often make use of the piles in the construction process. In fact, these piles are of great help in any project that is constructed below grade leading to the need for a retention wall. There are numerous other applications for this material, and steel sheet piles may be found in cofferdams, parking garages, and more, as they are extremely versatile and easy to use.
Why Steel Sheet Piling?
Installation stresses often lead to the early failure of retention wall materials. These sheets are driven into the ground and are highly resistant to the driving force thanks to their strong joints.
The material is both recyclable and reusable.
Pile length can be easily adapted to meet the requirements of the project, and the steel may be welded or bolted when needed.
Very little maintenance is needed, and the material holds up both under water and above.
The piles are lightweight, thus they are easy to handle, lift, and transport.
Different Types Of Steel Sheet Piling
Short walls with a light load benefit from the use of pan type sheet piling. These cold formed piles are of a smaller size than other piling options, thus this is their main purpose. Individuals building a drainage ditch, homeowners wanting to construct a retaining wall, and golf course owners often choose this piling material.
Z type sheet piling is easily recognizable thanks to its horizontally stretched Z shape. What distinguishes z type sheet piling from other types is the location of the interlocks. They are located as far as physically possible away from the neutral axis, as this increases the pile’s strength-to-weight ratio and its shear transmission. Thanks to these features, the Z type sheet piling is the most commonly seen in the country. This type of piling is commonly found in environmental barrier walls, parking garages, and retaining walls.
Certain applications require the use of a unique solution, and this is where flat web sheet piling becomes of great help. These piles come in circles and arcs that form gravity cells, while most piles make use of their stiffness or bending strength to retain water or soil. The gravity cells are joined together through the interlock tensile strength. In fact, the two major design characteristics of this piling are the allowable lock rotation and the lock tensile strength. Applications of great height or diameter typically make use of this piling option, as it can withstand high pressure.
What makes u type sheet piling different from Z type sheet piling is the location of the interlock. With the U pile, the interlock is located on the neutral axis, The centerline placement of the lock leads to problems with shear transfer, thus purchasers need to carefully determine if this is the right option for their needs.
Individuals who need more information about steel sheet piling, its uses, and applications for each type should contact Frank Mullaney at The Beacon Projects. Mr. Mullaney has more than 40 years in the construction industry and has extensive knowledge of building materials, their applications, and more. In addition, he can provide information on dealing with regulatory agencies at any level to ensure a project moves smoothly from start to finish. Mr. Mullaney is not only a certified construction manager, he is also certified as LEED AP or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional. Individuals know they can count on him to assist them with any construction project they wish to complete.