There are various types of earth-retaining structures. Where a differential surface level is to be established with a vertical interface, a retaining wall is used. Steel sheet piling is one form of retaining wall construction. Sheet piles resist soil and water pressures by functioning as abeam spanning vertically between points of support.
Steel sheet piles are used for temporary and permanent retaining walls. In temporary works and cofferdams the sheet piles enable deep excavations to be made to facilitate construction below ground and water level of other permanent works. On completion of construction the sheet piles are usually extracted for reuse on other projects.
Applications have seen the use of steel sheet piles as permanent retaining walls for structures including quay walls, bridge abutments, underground storage tanks, basements and underground carparks.
Where retained heights are large, such as for underground transport station access combined walls are used. These retaining walls require propping at various positions and the retaining wall can comprise of high modulus piles.
The advantages of using steel sheet pile retaining walls can be summarised as follows:
- Construction is significantly quicker than that for reinforced concrete walls.
- Permanent sheet piling is a narrow form of construction, which can be installed close up to the boundary of the site maximising usable site space.
- Steel sheet piles are suitable for all soil types.
- There is no requirement to excavate for wall foundations.
- There is no disturbance of existing ground unlike that for bored concrete piling.
- The steel components are factory quality as opposed to site quality.
- Steel sheet piles can easily be made aesthetically pleasing.
- Steel sheet piles can be placed in advance of other works.
- Immediate load-carrying capacity is present.
- Steel sheet piles can be used as curtain walling to contain the working site.
- They are a sustainable product as they are extracted easily and minimise waste.
Read about Developments in Steel Piles
A selection of our work