The history of sheet piling goes back to the beginning of the last century. The book Ein Produkt erobert die Welt – 100 Jahre Stahlspundwand aus Dortmund (A product conquers the world – 100 years of sheet pile walls from Dortmund) describes the success story of sheet piling. The story is closely linked with Tryggve Larssen, government building surveyor in Bremen, who invented the sheet pile wall made from rolled sections with a channel-shaped cross-section.In 1902 the so-called LARSSEN sheet piles – known as such from this date onwards – were used as a waterfront structure at Hohentorshafen in Bremen – and are still doing their job to this day! Since then, have been manufactured in the rolling mill of HOESCH Spundwand und ProfilGmbH.
Over the years, ongoing developments in steel grades, section shapes and driving techniques have led to a wide range of applications for sheet piling. The applications include securing ex- cavations, waterfront structures, foundations, bridge abutments, noise abatement walls, highway structures, cuttings, land fill and contaminated ground enclosures, and flood protection schemes. The main engineering advantages of sheet pile walls over other types of wall are:
- the extremely favourable ratio of steel cross-section to moment of resistance,
- their suitability for almost all soil types,
- their suitability for use in water,
- the fast progress on site,
- the ability to carry loads immediately,
- the option of extracting and reusing the sections,
- their easy combination with other rolled sections,
- the option of staggered embedment depths,
- the low water permeability, if necessary using sealed interlocks, and
- there is no need for excavations.