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Proper Sheet Pile Driving Installation Methods

Installing sheet piles in a construction site

What are the proper sheet pile driving installation methods?

  1. Panel Driving With a Template
  2. Pitching and Driving
  3. Use of Driving Assistance Methods

Sheet piles are useful in many construction projects. They are sturdy and durable materials driven into the ground for retaining wall construction, marine projects, construction of basements, and more. These rigid materials are lightweight but can also withstand the driving process of the machinery used. When it comes to sheet pile driving installation methods, it varies according to the soil condition, sheet pile length, machine used for installing, and many other important factors. 

Before we learn about the different driving methods, we must first understand what driving is. There are many ways of installing sheet piles, but driving is the most widely used. Driving is the process of pressing sheet piles into the ground. Driving equipment is used to drive the sheet piles into the soil. Different equipment is used for different soil conditions and sheet pile material used.

Panel Driving With a Template

Panel driving involves using a template before the driving process. The template is first inserted into the ground to serve as a guide for the incoming sheet piles. After placing the guide, each sheet pile is threaded vertically and put in position. In this step, all the sheet piles are interlocked together. This ensures that the sheets will not lean and stand.  Afterward, the driving machine drives each pile into the ground into segments.

An easier way to understand this is to think of hammering nails. The panel is the nail holder, the nail is the sheet pile, while your hand is the driving machine. The only difference in sheet pile panel driving is you have a bigger template, and numerous sheet piles are used.

This driving method is used in permanent structures such as underground car parks and basements. It is time-consuming because you need to be present on the site and thread each sheet pile first before driving. You will also need a long crane that can reach high elevations for lifting the sheet piles. This is especially true for longer sheet piles, where you need a crane twice the size of the pile.

Pitching and Driving

Bulk sheet piles

With the pitch and drive method, a guide is not installed. The sheet piles are directly threaded and driven to the ground. But each sheet pile is also installed sequentially. Comparing this to the panel driving analogy, here, no nail holders are used and the process is faster. 

In the pitch and drive method, the sheet piles are interlocked one at a time, leading to the leaning of some piles. The piles can also rotate. That’s why it is important to use a modern and advanced driving machine.

While panel driving is commonly used on permanent walls, the pitch and drive method is used for temporary walls. It is also used when the sheet piles are short. 

Use of Driving Assistance Methods

Sometimes the installation of sheet piles can become difficult because of environmental factors. In these instances, the use of driving assistance methods can help improve the process of installing sheet pipes. These methods are jetting and drilling.

Jetting involves the use of the force of water in softening very compact soil. The jetting equipment is attached to the sheet pie to ease the driving process. This helps the lightweight driving equipment to drive the sheet piles on the ground without encountering resistance. The force of the jet is customized to match the soil’s conditions.

Drilling is used for softening the resistance of the soil to the sheet piles. This is done before the sheet piles are installed to the ground. This driving assistance is useful when the ground is hard and compact. This process can reduce the damage to the sheet piles because it just needs to be inserted into the drilled hole. The holes can also act as a guide and prevent the piles from leaning.

Key Takeaway

It is important to understand sheet pile driving installation methods as can help you know what kind of sheet piles you need to use on your construction project and how you can combine methods for better results. Driving methods vary depending on many factors such as soil condition, sheet pile length, machine used for installing, and many others.

Sheet piling is very useful in a variety of construction uses. These piles are interlocked together to form a sheet that is placed on the ground. These sheets are used to add support to a structure. Sheet piles are used on land and marine projects. Some examples are underground car parks, seawalls, and dams.

Regan Industrial offers a variety of high-quality steel products in the Philippines. If you need sheet piles, or any steel product for your building, contact us and we would be able to help you!

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