Driven Sheet Piles

Driven Sheet Piles

Driven sheet piles are thin interlocking steel sheets used to construct a continuous barrier in the ground. Interlock is typically achieved by clutching the edge of one pile into the previous pile.

A wide range of sheet pile sections and profiles are available from many steel manufacturers. Cold-rolled sections have a weaker interlock than hot-rolled sections. In hard driving conditions this interlock might “unzip” or cause alignment problems which would require replacement of the sheet piles. Cold-rolled sections also are usually thinner than hot rolled and thus may be more prone to overstressing during driving.

Sheet piled retaining walls are often restrained by use of internal propping, bracing, anchors or deadmen. It is often possible to extract and reuse sheet piles making this an economically attractive retaining wall system.

One of the main applications for sheet piles is for temporary retaining walls or cofferdams used to allow permanent in ground construction to be undertaken. The durability of sheet piles can be extended with protective coatings.

Driven sheet piles are often installed by vibrating hammers operated off leaders mounted on tracked base machines or suspended from crawler cranes. Diesel impact hammers and hydraulic press in machines can also be used to drive or push the piles into place. Sometimes water jetting or preboring is used to assist penetration through stiff or hard layers.

Piling Contractors installs driven steel piles up to 25m in length with individual pile weight up to 5 tonnes. We carry out this work using a range of piling rigs, including purpose built RG16, RG19 and LRB255 piling rigs.

The RG16 and RG19 piling rigs have telescopic leaders and allow the piling rig to pitch and vibrate piles up to 16m and 19m long to refusal. These rigs have been used extensively throughout Australia including at Finnucane Island Car Dumper No 4 (WA), Perth desalination plant (WA), Adelaide Superway (SA), Tugun Bypass (NSW) and at Fremantle Port Upgrade (WA).

Free driving of sheet piles is also common, we use ICE 44-50 vibrators for smaller pile sections and PTC 120D vibrators for larger piles.