Sheet piling is a technique which is often overlooked or unheard of, but it actually makes our lives easier every day by being at the forefront of the world of construction.
From basements to pump houses and plenty of structures in between, sheet piling plays a massive role in modern living, so if you’re interested in finding out more about this construction technique, keep reading for our quick guide to sheet piling.
What is sheet piling?
Sheet piling is a method of soil retention which utilises sheets (which are usually made of steel, but vinyl and wood are also options) with interlocking edges and has three main uses:
How does it work?
The sheets are interlocked so that they are connected together and are then driven into the ground – they can be there temporarily or permanently. It is generally vibratory hammers which are used to drive the sheet piles into the ground but, where vibrations are a concern for some structures, there is an option for sheet piles to be hydraulically driven into the ground.
Where is it used?
Sheet piling is commonly used in the process of constructing basements, below-grade car parks, cofferdams, foundations, pump houses, and seawalls.
There are four main types of sheet piles:
What are the pros and cons?
There are three main methods of driving sheet piles into the ground: pitch and drive, panel driving, and staggered driving.
Pitch and drive
This simple method of sheet piling is used in loose soil and is carried out by driving each short sheet pile to the full depth before driving the next one.
Panel driving ensures that the sheets have a strong alignment and verticality and is often used in dense sand or soil.
Staggered driving is used in problematic soil conditions and the sheet piles are driven into the ground between guide frames in the order of sheet piles 1, 3, 5, 2, and 4.
If you want to find out more about sheet piling, read this really detailed guide.