Sheet piling, the method of reinforcement is a form of earth retention done in construction sites for improving stability.  It is an excavation support that retains soil by inserting steel/concrete sections with interlocking edges. These sheet piles act as a wall and behave as a barrier to reduce the inflow of groundwater. They are also used commonly in coastal defense.

What are sheet piles used for, and how do they work ?

It is used to act as a support for excavations for basements, underground parking, pump houses, cofferdams, sea walls.  They are hammered straight into the ground with the use of special equipment. The equipment is chosen based on the soil type. Generally vibratory hammers are used, if soil is dense, impact hammer can be used. They can also be hydraulically pushed into the ground. Special shapes and sizes of sheet piles are used to provide a sturdy build. There are many types of sheet builds - z type, deep arched type, straight web type.

Materials used

Sheet piles can be made of

·         Steel

·         Wood

·         Precast/pre-stressed concrete

Steel piling is better than the others.  This is because, Steel is sustainable as recycled steel is used. It is light weight and gives a long service life. The choice of material would be based on type of soil, availability of material, ease of installation, cost factors and many more. 

Things to look for while selecting sheet pile specialist

·         Importance of good quality work - As these facts illustrate the significant effort put into this process, it is mandatory that experienced experts handle this.  Great planning is required for this process, so a skilled staff for project planningis essential .

·         The company should have vast knowledge on the various types of materials available and should be able to assess the suitable one for the given project.

·         The company should procure and use heavy duty equipment to make the process efficient and fast.

·         As sheet piling is the foundation of the construction and a great deal of money is involved, hiring an experienced sheet pile specialist would be the right choice. The sheet piling specialists should be compliant with the constructions need and flexible to work on or off shore. The more experienced they are, the better they can handle the challenges thrown at every phase of this process. 

In summary, choosing the right specialist for this massive job is key to success of the entire construction and its safety in the long run.