What Exactly Is Sheet Piling and What Is It Used for?


Sheet piling is an essential part of most construction projects, with professionals using this method every day to make our lives safer. However, despite its playing a huge role in the modern world, for most of us, it’s an uncommon topic. So to make your life easier, here we’ve provided a quick guide of what sheet piling is and its most common uses.

What Is Sheet Piling?

Sheet piling is a method used in construction projects for retaining pressurized materials, providing excavation support, and, in some cases, becoming a permanent part of the structure.

Sheet Piling

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Using numerous thin sheets which are slotted together using interlocking edges, sheet piling creates an impermeable solid wall that can be used both permanent and temporary in many homes, dams, and largest buildings of the world

This wall can hold back immense pressurized materials such as soil and water. They are installed by driving the piles into the ground using either a vibratory hammer if penetrating the loose soil, or impact hammers if the soil is very dense. If the site has environmental concerns regarding vibrations, sheet piles can also be installed hydraulically.

If additional support is required, anchors and other props can be used.

Also Read: A Complete Guide on Pile Foundation and its Types

Types of Sheet Pile

Sheet piling can be done using a number of materials, but the choice depends on the number of factors.

Timber sheet piling is generally used for short periods of time during the construction of temporary structures, and usually to resist light pressure. However, they are unsuitable for permanent structures due to their susceptibility to rotting, despite preservative treatment.

Reinforced concrete is another common material used for sheet piles which are formed using either precast or prestressed concrete sheets and connected by tongue or groove joints. They are often used in marine structures but provide less flexibility.

Sheet Piling

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Steel is by far the most common material used in sheet piling. Capable of enduring immense pressure, steel is both earth and water-resistant. Due to its long-lasting nature, steel can be reused as it is sustainable. They also provide better flexibility as they are well adapted for welding or bolting.

An important thing to keep in mind is the types of steel sheet piling that are ‘cold rolled’ and ‘hot rolled’. Whilst the former is less expensive, it also gives less resistance than the latter.

For more information regarding different types of sheet piling, see this post by The Constructor.

What is Sheet Piling Used for?

Sheet Piling

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Sheet piling is an extremely versatile method and can be used in various types of projects, which includes temporary as well as permanent. Sheet piling plays an important role in underground construction. This can be used as an underground basement or car park by giving support to lay foundations. It is found in construction also.

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