Everything about sheet-pile walls: types, materials and construction methods

Sheet-pile walls are widely used for both large and small waterfront structures, ranging from small pleasure-boat launching facilities to large dock structures where ocean-going ships can take on or unload cargo. A pier jutting into the harbor, consisting of two rows of sheet piling to create a space between that is filled with earth and paved, is a common construction.

Sheet piling is also used for beach erosion protection; for stabilizing ground slopes, particularly for roads; for shoring walls of trenches and other excavations; and for cofferdams. When the wall is under about 3 m in height it is often cantilevered; however, for larger wall heights it is usually anchored using one or more anchors. The resulting wall is termed an anchored sheet-pile wall or anchored bulkhead.

Sheet pile wall types:

1. Wooden sheet piles

2. Steel sheet piles

3. Concrete

4. Light-gauge aluminium sheet piles

5. Vinyl sheet piles

6. Fiberglass sheet piles

Construction Methods

In the construction of sheet-pile walls, the sheet pile may be driven into the ground and then the backfill placed on the land side, or the sheet pile may first be driven into the ground and the soil in front of the sheet pile dredged. In either case, the soil used for backfill behind the sheet-pile wall is usually granular. The soil below the dredge line may be sandy or clayey. The surface of soil on the water side is referred to as the mud line or dredge line.


Steel sheet piling is the most common because of several advantages over other materials:

1. Provides high resistance to driving stresses.

2. Light weight

3. Can be reused on several projects.

4. Long service life above or below water with modest protection.

5. Easy to adapt the pile length by either welding or bolting

6. Joints are less apt to deform during driving.

This article comes from civilengineeringbible edit released

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