Sheet piling is a construction technique used to create temporary or permanent retaining walls, flood barriers, and excavation support systems. It involves driving or vibrating interlocking sheets made of steel, concrete or vinyl into the ground using a range of different driving techniques such as vibrating hammers, impact hammers, or hydraulic presses.
These sheets, known as piles, are installed vertically or at a slight angle to form a continuous wall. The interlocking design allows the sheets to fit tightly together, creating a sturdy barrier that can withstand soil pressure and water pressure. A steel guide frame is typically used to help locate and ensure installation tolerances are met.
Depending on the plant used to install the sheets, they can be installed in lengths of typically 6-9m. Longer lengths can be installed but will require the use of a vibro hammer suspended from a service crane. In special circumstances where low headroom dictates it, the sheets can be driven in shorter 2-3m lengths and splice welded to form longer elements below the surface of the ground.
Sheet piling is commonly used in various applications, including waterfront structures, basement walls, bridge abutments, and deep foundation systems. It provides structural stability, prevents soil erosion, and offers efficient and cost-effective solutions for projects requiring earth retention and stabilization.