Hot-rolled sheet pile has been around for over a hundred years. A lesser-known fact is that cold-formed sheet pile in the heavier sections that we are familiar with has been around since the 70s, or approximately 45 years.
Both play a very important role in the pile driving industry.
Steel sheet pile was originally a flat-sheet design used for cellular cofferdams and structures. This design is as important today as the early 20th century, and in some ways, with the advent of a patented process of open-cell bulkheads and cofferdams will ensure its importance for many years to come.
Hot-rolled sheet pile has evolved from flat sheets to U-shaped sheets, to the Z-shaped sheets we install today and will remain a viable product for many years to come.
The first cold-formed I heard about was a mill designed and owned by Krupp Steel. This mill was sold in the late 70s to the Canadian company Casteel and moved from Germany to Canada and later to the United States.
The first cold-formed steel sheet pile sold in America was in the mid 70s by an agent for Krupp Steel. Actually, there was over a half-mile sold to McDermott Corp. for bulkheads in New Orleans and Amelia, LA, and Gulfport, MS on the industrial canals. All these bulkheads are still in use today, over 40 years later.
There will always be a debate over the merits of hot-rolled vs. cold-formed just as there will always be a debate over what pickup truck a contractor should purchase.
This article comes from pilebuck edit released