Steel piles are an essential component of many foundation systems used in construction projects worldwide. These structural elements are made of steel and are driven or drilled into the ground to support structures such as buildings, bridges, and piers.
In this article, we will explore the different types of steel piles, including H-piles, pipe piles, and sheet piles, as well as their uses and advantages and disadvantages. We will also discuss the issue of corrosion and how it can affect the performance of steel piles.
Whether you are a construction professional, engineer, or simply interested in the topic, this article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of steel piles and their applications.
Types of Steel Pile Foundations
1. Pipe Piles (Metal Piles)
The pipe pile has behaved as an end-bearing pile or friction pile. These piles are seamless steel piles that are created by welding. The pipe pile may be driven either open-ended or close-ended.
Open-Ended Pile: As the name suggests driven pile end is open. Usually, it is useful in the rock or hard state. the open-ended piles are sunk into the soil.
The soil that is inside the steel pile is removed with the help of water jetting and compressed air .then after the pile is driven into the required depth; the steel pile is filled with concrete.
Close-end pile: In the case of closed-end piles, the driving end of each pipe is closed by welding. The material shoe is made of steel or cast iron which is used at the end of the pile as a pile shoe.
Once the close-end pile is driven into the soil. After that pile is filled with the required amount of concrete. The thickness of the pile is ranging from 8 mm to 12 mm and the diameter of the pile ranges from 0.25mm to 1.2 mm.
2. Screw Piles or Helical Piles
The screw piles are made up of cast iron or steel. These piles make a long shaft whose end is either helical form or screw base. The external diameter of the shaft is ranging from 15 cm to 30 cm and the diameter of the screw base ranging is 45cm to 150 cm.
Screw piles shaft may be hollow or solid. Installation of the pile into the ground is with the help of an electric motor. It is suitable for loose sand and loose clay.
These types of soil screw piles help to increase load-bearing capacity. The biggest advantage of a screw pile is easy to install.
3. Disc Steel Piles
Disc steel pile arrangement is similar to the screw piles, screw pile consists of a solid cast iron pile that attached a cast-iron disc to its foot. So that foot is helpful to increase the bearing area of the pile. Generally used in marine construction.
During penetration, the pile sinks into the ground. So the water jetting process is made in the bottom of the pile. This type of pile is suitable in soft and sandy soil.
Which allows the sinking of the pile by water jetting. It is mostly used in marine construction where the total penetration of the pile in the ground is required to be large.
The rolled steel H- pile acts as a bearing pile which is a newly developed technology in the pilling industry. H piles produce large impact stress during hard driving.
H-Pile is generally used in hard strata like rocky areas. Also, H- the pile has a small cross-sectional area of the pile is makes it easier for soil displacement. So that no extra process of jetting, or coring is required for penetration of the H-pile.
Advantages of H-Piles
- H- Piles produce a small amount of displacement.
- H-piles required small space for storage.
- H-piles are handled easily.
- H- Pile is generally used in the construction of retaining walls, cofferdams and bridges, and bulkheads.
- H-piles penetration can be performed closer to the existing structure.
- In the H-pile splicing process can be done easily.
- H-pile can penetrate the ground is up to 100m depth.
- H -piles act as friction and compaction piles.
Corrosion of Steel Piles Steel
Piles embedded in an impervious layer of the earth, at least 2 ft below the level of the ground, will generally be free of corrosive effects because of insufficient oxygen in the atmosphere.
In an Embedded portion of the steel, piles may be affected by corrosion. Because the surrounding layer consists of cinder fills, coal, alkaline soils, wastes from plants, etc.
Electric deterioration of the steel piles can be protected by the use of protective layers or coatings like coal, paint and epoxy layering, etc.
The durability of Steel pile
In many cases the rate of corrosion is less at that time protective method is not needed in other cases the rate of corrosion is high at that time a protective method is used for piles.
The following methods are used:
- Apply the coating layer on the piles
- Use thicker section
- Use high-grade steel
- To avoid maximum bending moment because it leads to corrosion.
- Cathodic protection for piles.
- In marine areas used ASTM960 (SPLASH ZONE)
- Extension in concrete capping
Advantages and Disadvantages of Steel Piles
- Steel pile is capable to penetrate through stiff layers or boulders.
- Steel piles possess high bearing capacity compared to others
- These piles can handle rough handling.
- Soil volume displaced during the driving of steel pile is compared to less.
- Steel piles provide a strong and durable foundation for the structure.
- Steel piles are highly susceptible to damage due to corrosion and electrolysis.
- Steel piles are costly compare to others unless the bearing stratum is able to produce high pile capacity.
Steel Pile Foundation
|Steel Piles Foundation||Description|
|H-Piles||H-shaped steel beams driven into the ground, suitable for both tension and compression loads.|
|Pipe Piles||Large-diameter steel pipes driven into the ground, effective for supporting heavy vertical loads.|
|Sheet Piles||Interlocking steel sheets driven vertically into the ground, creating a continuous barrier for excavation support or water control.|
|Screw Piles||Helical steel shafts with a helix plate at the base, screwed into the ground to provide foundation support.|
|Box Piles||Rectangular or square-shaped steel piles used for heavy structural loads, offering stability and support.|
|Composite Piles||Combines steel and other materials for enhanced load-bearing capacity and resistance to corrosion.|
|Open-End Piles||Steel piles with an open bottom, suitable for cohesionless soils, allowing for easy penetration.|
|Closed-End Piles||Steel piles with a closed bottom, effective in cohesive soils, preventing soil from entering the pile during driving.|
|Micro Piles||Small-diameter steel piles, often used in limited access or environmentally sensitive areas.|
|Friction Piles||Transfer load through friction between the pile and surrounding soil, suitable for cohesive soils.|
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