Pipe piles are commonly used in deep foundations to transfer the loads from building to stronger soil layers found deep underground. The loads are carried through skin friction and point bearing. Pipe piles can be driven either open-ended or plugged, with points or plates. If driven with plates, the pipes can then be filled with concrete or soil to add strength to the pile. Pipe piles range in size from several inches to several feet in diameter and can be easily spliced to create piles at any length needed for construction.
Types of Pipe Piling
The types of pipe piles vary depending on the job that needs to be done. Some variants are open-ended while others are plugged at the bottom. Being open helps move soil from one end to the other. While plugged pipe piles keep their position firmly and hold a certain amount of soil inside for their sturdiness.
These pipes are completely open ended, as the name suggests. After installation, the ground level should be equal both inside and outside the pipe. They transfer their load to the soil primarily through friction.
These pipes have a plug on the bottom end of the pipe. This causes the soil inside the pipe to be an exact amount lower than outside the pipe.
One of two most commonly used plugged piles. In this case, a steel plate is welded to the lower end. The plate is intended to create compression and boost friction to alleviate any sliding. These are used on rocky terrain where a small layer of soil exists between the rock and the pile.
Steel Pipe with Rock Shoe
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.
Permanent piles that are plugged with a moist concrete filling and can withstand much stronger driving impact than the other pipe piles.
The Benefit to Using Pipe Piling
For any structure that is built to bear large loads, a deep foundation is almost necessary. Building the right structural support for deep foundations comes in many variations. However, steel pipe piles are able to tailor to specific building needs. Pipe piles are easier and less expensive to install and can be inspected and tested for safety before installation. They are also among the easiest to add to after construction. They have some of the lowest replacement costs since they are not susceptible to cracking during the driving process.
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