Sheet Piles : 4 Types, Uses & Advantages of Sheet Piles

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Sheet piles are the type of piles that are primarily used for providing lateral support and resisting the lateral pressure generally from loose soil, the flow of water, etc.


✔ Primarily, such type of piles is used for the sheeting of trench, protection of shore, cofferdams, etc.

✔ Vibratory hammers are commonly utilized in the installation of sheet piles. If the soil is too hard then impact hammers can be used for installation.

✔ Sheet piles are made up of steel, but can also be formed of reinforced concrete or timber.


Some Purposes of Sheet Piles are: 

1. Retaining the loose soil around the foundation trenches.

2. Constructing retaining walls.

3. Construct erosion protection structures.

4. Confining the soil and isolating the foundation from the adjacent
soil layers.



  1. Selection of Sheet Piles  

The selection of sheet piles depends upon the following:

a. Type of work ( permanent or temporary )

b. Site conditions

c. Type of protection required

d. Depth required

e. Bending moment induced.



  2. Uses of Sheet Piles  

Some uses of the sheet piles are:

a. Used in the construction of seawalls and bulkheads.

b. Used in the construction of seawalls and bulkheads.

c. Used as barriers to groundwater flow.

d. Used for retaining the loose soil around the foundation trenches.



  3. Types of Sheet Piles  

There are four types of sheet piles that are commonly used.


a. Timber Sheet Piles

Timber Sheet Piles

✔ Commonly used for temporary structures and short spans.

✔ Able to resist light lateral loads.

✔ Timer sheets are connected by tongue and groove joints.

✔ Requires preservative treatment of the timber sheet piles before application.

✔ Not suitable in the strata consisting of gravel and boulders.



b. RCC Sheet Piles

RCC Sheet Piles

✔ These piles are formed utilizing precast concrete members which are connected together by tongue and groove joints.

✔ Generally utilized as a permanent structure in river embankments, canals, and other marine structures.

✔ Toe of the Piles: Oblique face to facilitate easy driving and interlocking

Head of the Piles: Finished off by casting a capping beam.



c. Vinyl Sheet Piles

Vinyl Sheet Piles

✔ Suitable for both temporary and permanent constructions.

✔ The best alternative of steel, wood, and concrete piles.

✔ Highly durable and corrosion resistive when exposed to seawater, where no oxidation occurs.



d. Steel Sheet Piles

✔ Steel piles are commonly utilized because of the following reasons: 

a. High resistance to driving stresses

b. Excellent water-tightness

c. Length can be easily increased by welding or bolting.

d. Durability can be increased by corrosion protection measures such as coating and cathodic protection.


✔ These piles are generally interconnected by interlocking.


Sheet Piles


✔ Different forms of steel sheet piles are: 

a. Normal sections

b. Composite sections

c. Box sections

d. Straight web sections



  4. Advantages of Sheet Piles  

The advantages of Sheet piles are as follows:

a. Reusable

b. Recyclable

c. Can be used in both temporary and permanent constructions.

d. Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

e. Requirement of less maintenance.

f. Can be installed in very less time.



  5. Installation of Sheet Piles  


Hope you liked our post.


Read Also: Types of Pile Foundation


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