ArcelorMittalApplicationsInland Waterways

Inland Waterways Infrastructures

Rivers are used for shipping large quantities of bulk material and other special goods in an environmentally-friendly way. Navigation in rivers requires a minimum draft and a specific channel width. River transport is the best alternative to railway and road transport, more environmentally-friendly and usually cheaper.

Canals are man-made structures that are built specifically for navigation use, either for leisure boats or for large vessels / barges. Canals usually connect rivers, but sometimes they by-pass rivers. Canals have a specific gauge which determines the maximum size of the vessels allowed on the canal.

Canals may also require the construction of dykes, for instance when the existing ground lies below the level of the canal.

Locks are an essential structure to allow navigation in inland waterways. They are designed according to the size of the vessels, and their main objective is to ensure a minimum draft during the four seasons.

Steel sheet piles are used in many applications in rivers and canals, such as
  • quay walls and dolphins in inland harbours,
  • protection of river and canal banks (including flood protection systems),
  • upgrading of rivers / canals (increase of gauges) to larger vessels,
  • construction of locks.
Last modified: February 5, 2020

Inland Harbours

Quay walls in European inland harbours are most often built with steel sheet piles.


Main task is to guarantee a minimum draft level of a portion of a river [...]


In inland waterways, dikes are usually part of a flood protection system. Steel sheet piles [...]


Dolphins are usually flexible structures to protect other structures from an accidental impact of a [...]

Atypical applications

Groynes in rivers to protect the riverbank from erosion can be built with steel sheet [...]