Steel Sheet Pile Basics
Sheet piles are, by definition, structural units which when connected one to another, will form a continuous wall, generally for retaining earth or excluding water. Interlocking devices formed as part of the manufactured product provide the wall continuity. Sheet piling has been made of steel, concrete, wood, aluminum and other materials. Steel is by far the dominant choice, due to ready availability, relative strength, and ease of handling, storage and installation, although the use of other materials is increasing.
- Steel sheet piling is generally delivered to the project from the mill or from field-stocks in preordered lengths and stacked, ready for use.
- Individual pieces or pre-interlocked pairs are installed by driving using impact hammers, vibrators or by water jetting.
- Sheets are “threaded” one to another during the setting and driving operation so that a continuous, relatively soil and watertight wall is formed.
- In functioning as a wall, the sheet piling acts as a beam under load and therefore must resist bending.
- Sheet pile shapes have evolved over the years from simple channel sections with crude fabricated locks, to “U” shapes with integral, rolled-on interlocks, to today’s wide range of high strength “Z” shapes.
Steel Sheet Pile
- Artificial islands
- Bulkheads-including dock walls for marine terminal facilities in water
- Cofferdams – temporary, in water or on land to permit excavation for and construction of permanent works
- Cut-off Walls – in connection with earth or concrete dams or dikes to retard seepage
- Dry Dock Walls
- Retaining Walls
- Seawalls, Flood Walls, Dikes, Jetties, Groins
- Navigation Lock Walls and other large navigation structures
- Mooring and Turning Cells, Dolphins.
- Barge Docks – Consisting of Individual Cellular Structures
- Bridge Protection Cells – to protect bridge piers from shipping collisions.
Steel Sheet Pile Used in Cofferdam
- Steel sheet piling is manufactured in three basic configurations – “Z”, “U” and “straight” (flat).
- Historically such shapes have been “hot-rolled” products of structural mills. Like other shapes such as beams or channels, they are formed during a succession of passes through different roll stands of the mill. In the case of sheet piling, the rolled-on clutch or interlock is an additional special feature of sheet piling production.
- Some producers use a cold-forming process in which hot-rolled sheet steel is fabricated into traditional sheet piling shapes manufactures some sheet piling shapes.
- These new additions to product availability contain interlocks that are considerably different from the hot-rolled products. Cold-formed sheeting is manufactured from a hot-rolled coil of steel, and then is slowly fed through a series of rollers, which gradually bends or forms the steel into its designated shape.
Sample of Z-Type Shape
- The Z type configuration is generally considered the strongest and most efficient.
- These shapes resemble wide-flange beams, having a web and two flanges. The interlocks are located out on the flanges at maximum distance from the neutral axis, and this provides a high section modulus for resisting bending moments.
- Because of this, Z-shapes have traditionally been used for heavier construction projects. However, they are now complemented by the arch or U shapes for lighter work, and lightweight Z-shapes have been also introduced into the marketplace.
- The interlocks of hot-rolled Z-type sheet piling are designed for free sliding and integrity during driving. Since most Z-piles are used to construct straight walls, there is generally no need for any guaranteed swing or deflection between sheets although there is almost always some attainable if needed, except perhaps in very long sheets.
- Sheet piling produced in the United States has been rolled with a “ball and socket” interlock design. Historically, it has been recommended that these be driven so that the ball of the interlock was leading. The socket then had a pre- cleared path into the ground. The importance of this recommendation has been properly questioned and many walls have been successfully installed without following this procedure. These inter locks are not designed for applications where resistance to tension is important.
- Although there are some general similarities in the styles, the interlocks provided on Z-piling available from European and Japanese producers vary with the producer.
- In general, whether the piling be foreign or domestic, the user should not assume sheets can be mixed on the job simply because the locks “look” the same. Tolerances may vary from producer to producer.
- The interlocks of the heavier piling sections may not interlock with lighter ones from the same producer.
- Because of their inherent strength, Z-piles can be handled and shipped with less exposure to possible damage than some other style sheets. These interlocks do not lend themselves well to splicing and splices should be avoided if possible.
- Interlocks should be reasonably free sliding, that is, the pile should run to grade of its own weight when interlocked with its neighbor.
- Z-piles are generally used in constructing straight wall structures – cofferdams, bulkheads and retaining walls.
- Sheet piling can be pulled after temporary use, the interlocks cleaned and reconditioned and the sheets used again for similar applications.
Sample of Z-Type Shape
Sample of Z-Type Shape
Arch Web and U-Shape Piling
- These shapes resemble the hot-rolled channel sections produced on structural mills.
- The interlocks are formed on the web ends and interlock with their opposing mate along the centerline of the wall.
- These shapes are not considered as efficient as the Z-type for the equivalent weight.
- Interlocks of domestic arch-web sheet piling were of the “thumb and finger” design. The thumbs of opposing sheets were threaded into the sockets formed by the thumb and curved finger providing a strong grip and one of relatively good water and soil tightness.
- The standard installation procedure calls for reversing every other sheet.
- The German engineer Larssen based interlocks of foreign U-type piling on an historical interlock design. This interlock is best described as a “double-clutch” design and is considerably less complex than the thumb and finger design of American manufacture.
- Arch web and U-type sheets may be somewhat easier to splice for extending lengths than Z-sheets. In addition, since these locks are somewhat looser, there is a smaller chance of binding during the setting and driving operation when dealing with extremely long lengths.
- The interlocks of the series of arch web shapes produced by cold forming are of the “hook and grip” type previously described.
- Arch-web shapes have been used primarily for lighter construction, for example, trench shoring, shallow cofferdams in water or on land, light bulkheads for marinas or river port facilities, shallow retaining walls and cut-off walls (where strength is less important than interlock integrity).
- Large “U” shapes have traditionally been popular in other parts of the world for all classes of construction, probably because Z- type sheets are a more recent addition overseas.
Sample of U-Type Shape
Grades of Steel Sheet Piling
- In the United States, sheet piling is specified by reference to the ASTM standard. The basic grade is A- 328. This requires that the yield strength be a minimum of 38.5 ksi.
- Higher strength steels are available in ASTM Grades 50 and 60 which have minimum yields of 50 ksi (345 MPa) and 60 ksi respectively. This permits possible economies in meeting calculated bending moments by combining lighter sections with higher strength steel.
- An additional grade of steel for piling has been developed for possible use where corrosion from salt water is a consideration. This grade is ASTM A-690 which is a 50 ksi (345 MPa) yield steel and also of a formulation which has demonstrated increased life in salt-water splash zones compared to regular grades.
- Allowable stresses for design of sheet pile structures are generally based on about 65% yield (25 ksi for the standard A 328 grade). Proportionately higher allowable stresses of 32 ksi and 38 ksi respectively are allowed for the higher strength grades. Some increase is generally allowed for temporary stresses.
APE Vibro Hammer Installing Steel Sheet Pile
PILE BUCK’S TOP RECOMMENDED STEEL SHEET PILE SUPPLIERS
Since 1985, JD Fields & Company, Inc. has supplied millions of tons of high-quality steel products to customers around the world. We can serve your immediate needs from over 150,000 tons of steel we carry in stock. Our experienced sales consultants can also work with you to meet any special requirements.
Our Construction Products division inventories and markets a broad range of carbon steel products, including H Bearing Piles, Hot Rolled Piling, Cold Formed Piling and Pipe Piling of all sizes. Although we carry one of the most complete inventories in the industry, we are also your source for hard to find items and solutions in various products. We have multiple stocking locations nation wide to suit your immediate needs, and we can offer third party turn-key services such as fabrication, coating, painting and galvanizing.
- Hot-Rolled Steel Sheet Piling
- Cold-Rolled Steel Sheet Piling
- Piling ACAD Drawing files
- High Modulus Wall Solutions
- Pipe Pile
We are a premier steel foundation manufacturer and supplier, serving the North American market. Skyline Steel, LLC (doing business as Nucor Skyline) is a Nucor company, the largest producer of steel in the United States, and this relationship strengthens our ability to service our customers and the industry.
- Over 20 Sales Offices in North America
- Manufacturing, Coating and Fabrication Expertise
- Dozens of Stocking Locations
- Exclusive Engineering Support
Our flagship products include an unparalleled assortment of:
- H-Piles • Geostructural Products
- Steel Sheet Piles • Wide Flange and other Structural Sections
- Pipe Piles • Piling Accessories
Nucor Skyline’s knowledgeable engineering team works with owners, engineers, and contractors long before ground is broken. To ensure seamless project coordination and completion, our engineers propose solutions throughout all aspects of design, material selection, installation, and construction sequencing. Nucor Skyline’s engineering support is extended even further to include provision of onsite assistance after a project has started. Our relationships extends beyond sales – we are your true project partner.
- Steel Sheet Piling
- NZ/PZ Hot Rolled Steel Sheet Pile
- AZ Hot Rolled Steel Sheet Pile
- SCZ/SKZ Cold Formed Steel Sheet Pile
- SKL/SKS Cold Formed Steel Sheet Pile
- PS/AS Hot Rolled Steel Sheet Pile
- Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) Pipe
- Spiralweld Pipe
- Rolled and Welded Pipe
- Steel H-Piles
- Combined Wall Systems
- Pipe-Z Combined Wall Systems
- HZ®-M Steel Wall Systems
- Geostructural Solutions
- Threaded Bar & Accessories
- Hollow Bar Systems
- Multi-Strand Anchor Systems
- Structural Sections
- Wide Flange
- Channels & Angles
- Pile Accessories
Meever USA is the American arm of a global manufacturer and distributor of steel piling products called Meever and Meever headquartered in the Netherlands. A private, versatile, entrepreneurial, family owned business with continuously growth over the past 32+ years. Meever and Meever has evolved into an international network of facilities and subsidiaries, and stocking locations around the world, including Netherlands, Germany, Poland, UAE, Australia. Meever USA has been able to continue its North American, Canada, and Caribbean success because of our worldwide contacts , sources, and expertise.
We specialize in suppling steel sheet pile, steel (welded and seamless) pipe pile, steel H pile, structural steel, anchoring and strutting systems, and accessories required by the pile driving industry. We consider teamwork with our customers as one of the key elements generating our success.
- Hot-rolled sheet piles
- Cold-rolled sheet piles
- Structural steel and H-piles
- Pipes and micropiles
- Combined wall systems
- Anchoring and strutting systems
- Pillars, dolphins, mooring and bridge pillars
- Interlock sealant and fabrication
- Coating and other surface treatments
- Vinyl and FRP piling
- King piles
Service Steel Warehouse is a full-service, independent, carbon structural steel distributor serving customers in the United States and internationally. Located next to the Houston Ship Channel with rail access to the Port of Houston and the mainland, Service Steel uses its efficient transportation system to ship steel across the United States and around the globe. Our large inventory, competitive pricing and intense commitment to customer satisfaction forms the foundation of our growth as an industry leader since 1965.
- Wide Flange Beams
- I Beams
- HSS Round & Squares
- Pipe Piling
- Channel and Angles
Samuel Roll Form Group (RFG) has been manufacturing roll formed steel products for over 45 years. Our locations include roll forming capabilities which are complemented by in-line notching and piercing, eliminating the need for secondary operations. Heavy, long and wide sections are our specialty. Our projects can be seen nationwide and can endure the test of time. Explore this section to find out more about us: our high standards for quality, our strategic locations for customer service, our trade memberships, and our strength and stability in the marketplace.
- Retaining walls
- Sheet Piling
- SamSon Access Mats
Shoreline Steel began manufacturing steel piling in 1983 and has established a worldwide reputation as a provider of quality, American made, steel sheet piling. We operate four mini-mill roll forming operations that produce 30 different piling sections in six different configurations. Our team has the technical knowledge and manufacturing experience to provide you with quality products and timely job site deliveries to accommodate your construction schedules.
- Lightweight Sheet Piling
- Zee Lightweight Sheet Pile
- Intermediate Lightweight
- Intermediate Heavyweight
- Mega Zee 10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19
As one of the premiere providers of sheet piles, pipe piles and related accessories in North America, ESC brings some of the highest product integrity and the most rapid project completion times in the industry. Since its beginnings in the 1980s, ESC has developed a comprehensive support system for its clients, providing them with a variety of customizable options tailored to their individual needs. Our team of experienced design and engineering professionals believes that simply supplying a product is insufficient.
- Sheet Piles
- Pipe Piles
- Combination Walls
- Vinyl Sheet Piles
- Mooring Bollards
- Cathodic Protection
- Strutting System
- Corrosion Protection
- Interlock/Clutch Sealant
- Trench Shield
- Tie Rod Systems
- Welded Interlocks
- Marine Fenders System
Since 1956, Seaboard Steel Corp. has been serving the needs of pile driving contractors in the southeastern U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America. We provide equipment and material, for rental or purchase, to pile driving contractors and related construction firms. Seaboard Steel offers steel sheet piling, H-bearing piles, pipe piles, and related items from several domestic manufacturers.
Along with these piling products, Seaboard Steel is a factory distributor for MKT Manufacturing, Inc., offering a full line of pile driving and extracting equipment, along with a complete line of parts and in-house pile driving equipment service. If you have a need for service parts “in the field”, contact us and we’ll arrange to get you the parts you need to minimize your down-time.
- Custom corners
- Pipe piles
- Wide-flange beams