Sheet piles overview
Sheet piles are a type of driven pile where thin interlocking sheets of steel are hammered into the ground to form a continuous barrier. Temporary sheet piles are primarily used to create retaining walls, typically to allow larger, more permanent construction to proceed. The retaining walls restrain soil or water above the bedrock from entering the construction area. Permanent sheet piling is sometimes used to support below-ground parking garages, foundations and basements.
Sheet piles are driven into the ground in sequence by vibrating hammers, but can be driven by impact hammers in dense soil conditions or by hydraulics if vibration is a consideration. The piles are interlocked as they are sequentially driven into the ground. Sheet piles are a sustainable option for construction projects, as they can be manufactured with recycled steel and reused for multiple projects. To increase the lateral strength of a sheet pile, anchors can be used to provide additional support.
A sheet pile’s strength is based on the geometry of the sheet and the soil it is driven into. The pressure on the high side of the wall is transferred to the soil in front of the wall. Sheet piles can be fabricated in two different methods: hot-rolled and cold-formed. High-rolled piles are manufactured at high temperatures, which can make the interlock tighter than the cold-formed process. The tightness of the interlock is important, as loose interlocks do not perform well in hard soil conditions, or conditions where low water permeability is required. Hot-rolled and cold-formed sheet piles share a variety of strengths and sizes, but hot-rolled piles can come in larger sizes and have better strength profiles than cold-formed piles.
Contact us to learn more about how temporary or permanent Sheet Piles could be used for your construction needs!