Steel sheet piling is the oldest and most common type of sheet piling. One of the other benefits of steel sheet piles is that they are frequently made out of recycled steel, which makes this product a sustainable option.
Steel sheet piling is considered a permanent solution since it can last for over 75 years without breaking down. For this reason, it is traditionally used around bridge piers and along embankments. It has a deep foundation that creates a lasting barrier that keeps dirt back during construction processes.
Steel sheet piling is created by individual interlocking sections that quickly join together. When arranged correctly, they form a wall for permanent or sometimes temporary support; this can also provide lateral support if that is required.
To install steel sheet pilings, you generally need heavy machinery. A vibratory hammer is traditionally used. However, if the soil the sheet piling is being installed in is too thick, you may need to use an impact hammer. This tool can break through dense soil, allowing the placement of the steel sheet piles. In other cases, they may need to be hydraulically placed into the ground.
An alternative to steel sheet piling is vinyl sheet piling. Vinyl sheet piling is made out of Polyvinyl Chloride, also known as PVC. It is made out of a thinner material that can still be interlocked and driven into the earth to create a wall. It comes in similar sizes and shapes as steel sheet piling but can be used when a foundation does not have to be incredibly deep.
One of the most common applications for vinyl sheet piling is when it is used to reinforce a concrete structure. It helps protect newly placed concrete in either above or below water applications.
The primary benefit of vinyl sheet piling is that it can be installed without the use of heavy machinery. It is simply secured by using a steel waler and rebar system and secured using grout bags. This makes it a very cost-effective alternative to steel sheet piling. The result is a visually appealing long-lasting solution.