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Concrete piles essentially consist of concrete as the chief element.
Concrete piles may be further classified into precast concrete piles and cast-in-situ concrete piles.
A pile foundation is a type of deep foundation that comprises a long, slender column used to transfer the load coming from the superstructure to the lower-lying ground through skin friction or an end-bearing mechanism.
In general, a pile foundation is a long cylinder usually made up of steel or concrete and driven deep into the ground to act as a base or support to the structure built on it.
✔ Sometimes, timber is also used as a pile foundation.
✔ A Pile foundation is mostly used when the upper soil layer is weak and does not have sufficient bearing capacity to withstand the imposed load by the structures.
1. Types of Concrete Piles
They are briefly described as follows:
a. Pre-Cast Concrete Piles
Pre-cast concrete piles are manufactured in a casting yard and cured properly. Piles are then transported to the place where they are installed.
They can be driven to a length of 27 m and can have a capacity of up to 60 tons.
Usually, rectangular piles are cast in horizontal form whereas circular piles are cast in vertical form.
Pre-cast piles may be reinforced or unreinforced.
i. Advantages of Pre-Cast Piles
Some of the advantages of pre-cast piles can be listed as follows:
1. Pre-cast piles have high strength and stability.
2. They can withstand a load of high intensity.
3. Precast piles have high resistance to corrosion and biological defects and remain unaffected by groundwater.
4. Such piles can be used in almost all types of construction including marine construction.
5. Precast concrete piles have high durability and are cost-effective.
ii. Disadvantages of Pre-Cast Piles
Some of the disadvantages of pre-cast piles can be listed as follows:
1. The change of length of such piles and mobilization is difficult.
2. Driving the piles requires heavy and advanced equipment.
3. There is a high risk of breakage of piles during the handling or driving operation.
b. Cast-in-Place Concrete Piles
A cast in situ pile is formed by driving a closed-ended tubular section to form a void and then filling the void with concrete whilst withdrawing the section.
Examples: Various systems such as Franki piles, Vibro piles, Alpha piles, and so on.
i. Advantages of Cast-In-Situ Concrete
Some of the advantages of cast-in-situ concrete piles can be listed as follows:
1. They are more flexible in terms of length variation.
2. Handling such piles is easier.
3. Additional piles may be provided easily.
4. The installation process is simple with no possibility of breakage.
ii. Disadvantages of Cast-In-Situ Concrete
Some of the disadvantages of cast-in-situ concrete piles can be listed as follows:
1. Since the pile is cast in situ, a proper storage place must be arranged for storing the construction materials safely.
2. Quality control is quite difficult.
3. Difficulty may arise in casting the concrete where the underground flow of water is relatively heavy.
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