Understanding Pipe Piling And Its BenefitsDecember 29, 2015
Pipe piling has been growing in popularity and implementation by leaps and bounds since the late 1980s. A series of exhaustive tests were able to demonstrate how effective pipe piling is in load bearing, and thus use of pipe piling in the civil construction industry boomed. If your industry involves heavy loads or deep foundation structures, you need to know about pipe piling. This overview will explain the basics of how piling works and how it can be optimized for best results in civil construction and deep foundations.
The BasicsPipe piles are a simple, easy to understand type of piling. A prebuilt steel pipe structure is driven into the ground, typically with large impact hammers. The piles remain in place primarily through friction with the soil. The pile designs will vary depending on the ground conditions and support expectations, enabling the pile systems to be adapted to any specific needs. Because they are made of steel, they can handle extremely heavy loads, and the right steels can make them virtually impervious to environmental conditions. Different options also allow clients to get the most effective materials for any pipe piles.
Types of Pipe PilingWhile all of the different piling methods involve driving pipes, different soil conditions and structural needs lend themselves better to different types of pipe piles. Here is an overview of some of the most common:
- Unplugged Open-Ended - These pipes are completely open ended. After installation the ground level should be the same inside and outside the pipe. They transfer their load to the soil primarily through friction.
- Plugged Open-Ended - These have a plug on the bottom end of the pipe. This causes the soil inside the pipe to be a precise amount lower than outside the pipe.
- Bottom Plate - This is one of two common plugged piles. In this case the a steel plate is welded to the lower end. The plate is intended to create compression and increase friction to reduce sliding. These are used on rocky terrain where a minimum layer of soil exists between the rock and the pile.
- Steel Pipe with Rock Shoe - This is the other common plug. Rock shoes serve the same function as steel plates, but they are used when the pile comes directly in contact with a rock surface. The equipped shoe must be able to support the entire load, and it will prevent any sliding along the rocky surface.
- Franki Pipe Pile - Franki piles are intended to be permanent. They are plugged with a moist concrete filling and can withstand much stronger driving impact than their counterparts.