STEEL SHEET PILES

One of the easiest and quickest ways in which to form a watertight retaining wall, in soft or loose saturated soil profiles, is to use steel sheet piles.  These are steel sections which have the facility to interlock, one with another, and which can be driven into the ground to form a watertight wall.  The sheet pile sections can be extracted once they have performed the function for which they were installed, reducing costs considerably.  The steel sheet piles can either be used as cantilever walls or as braced / tie-back walls.


Positive Features

  • Fast method for forming a wall or cofferdam in soft or loose saturated soil profiles
  • Sheet piles can be extracted and used many times, thus reducing costs
  • Wall flexibility can be used in the design to reduce wall pressures, leading to economical designs

Typical Uses of / Need for Sheet Pile Installation

  • Temporary cofferdam for the construction of the pile-cap for a pier in a river
  • Temporary cofferdam for the construction of a pump-house below ground level
  • Temporary cofferdam for the construction of a basement to a building
  • Permanent wall as part of the construction of a harbour quay
  • Permanent cut-off wall to restrict the flow of groundwater
  • Temporary or permanent retaining walls

As the cost of steel sheet piles is high, their use is generally only justified economically for temporary support of excavations below the water-table in soft saturated soil profiles.  Despite the high costs, sheet piles are often used for certain permanent works or in situations where the speed of installation is a distinct advantage.  They are commonly used in marine construction.