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Benefits of Steel Sheet Piles

Nov. 09, 2022

Steel sheet piles are one of the most common construction materials typically used for retaining walls. Depending on the needs of the project, these retaining structures may be permanent or temporary.


Projects such as ports and bridges may require the permanent installation of sheet piles to prevent the backfill from collapsing during the design life of the structure.


On the other hand, building construction projects involving basements and/or deep pits will require temporary foundation support while concrete basement walls are being constructed.


What are the uses of steel sheet piles?

Steel sheet piles are elongated structural elements with different lengths and cross sections which are connected at each end of the panel using interlocking devices to form a continuous wall. Sheet piles are often installed as part of retaining structures for slope protection and excavation protection.


U Type Sheet Pile

U Type Sheet Pile

Marine structures such as piers and quay walls use sheet pile walls to retain backfill and are used to raise the finished ground level in docking areas. Sheet piles also help to mitigate rapid groundwater seepage on such projects.


For most projects, sheet piles are typically used for scaffolding or temporary excavation protection applications. These include basement and tunnel construction.


Sheet piles are installed with multiple components such as beams and struts to form a support cut/excavation.


Sheet pile walls can also be installed as part of a permanent retaining structure (e.g. diaphragm wall) to prevent the collapse of the structure above the soil held by the sheet pile wall.


Another example of a permanent application of a steel sheet pile wall is a flood wall construction project. This usually requires cantilevered sheet pile walls for retained soil heights up to 6.00 metres and anchored sheet pile walls for higher retained heights.


Z Type Sheet Piles

Z Type Sheet Piles

Benefits of steel sheet piles

The main advantage of steel sheet piles is their suitability for a wide range of projects.


In addition to this, sheet piles may take less time to install than reinforced concrete used for retaining wall applications, where the concrete takes several days to cure before the next pouring activity.


Sheet piles are also typically lighter and easier to transport than reinforced concrete.


In addition, problems associated with deterioration in material quality during transportation are kept to a minimum, unlike concrete, which can have material quality problems when delivered to the project site.


In terms of sustainability, sheet piles can be recovered from temporary excavations to protect the structure and can be reused for future construction projects. For permanent structures, the sheet pile approach has also been found to perform well when subjected to a variety of loads. This is due to the high bending stresses it can withstand.


In addition, when sheet piles are installed with corrosion protection such as cathodic protection systems, the durability of the material is improved and the design life of the structure is extended.


This is evident for marine structures with high corrosion sensitivity due to the presence of seawater.


The best sheet piles

By reading our guide you can see the bigger picture and gain a better understanding of the use of sheet piling in the construction industry. Get in touch with us today to secure an expert consultation!

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