Sheet piles are installed in sequence to design depth along the planned excavation perimeter or seawall alignment. The interlocked sheet piles form a wall for permanent or temporary lateral earth support with reduced groundwater inflow. Anchors can be included to provide additional lateral support, if required.
Sheet pile walls have been used to support excavations for below-grade parking structures, basements, pump houses, and foundations, to construct cofferdams, and to construct seawalls and bulkheads. Permanent steel sheet piles are designed to provide a long service life. Vibratory hammers are typically used to install sheet piles. If soils are too hard or dense, an impact hammer can be used to complete the installation. At certain sites where vibrations are a concern, the sheets can be hydraulically pushed into the ground.
Sheet piles are also a sustainable option, because they are made of recycled steel and the piles can often be reused. Cold rolled sheet piling is less expensive, but provides less water resistance. Hot rolled sheet piling is more traditional and provides better water resistance.