Locks are mainly built in rivers and canals, although some maritime ports have built huge port extensions behind large locks.

The main task of a lock and dam is to guarantee a minimum draft level of a portion of a river / canal for every season. The lock itself allows ships / boats to pass from one portion of the river / canal to the next portion. The difference in water level between both sides of a lock depends on the topographic characteristics of the river / canal, and can reach several meters.

Steel sheet piles are the most popular material to build locks. Most often, they serve as a temporary retaining wall or cofferdam for the construction of the lock itself, and are integrated into the final structure.

Steel sheet piles can also be used as temporary structures for maintenance or repair of the doors or any other elements of the lock.

Some locks use steel sheet piles likewise for the guiding structure in front of the locks to separate the lock entrance from the dam.

In Germany, steel sheet piles walls inside the lock basin are fabricated with plates between the outer flanges of the piles in order to produce a continuous and smooth surface, reducing the risk of damage to the structure during the operations of vessels / boats inside the lock.
Last modified: January 7, 2022
New lock of Ivoz-Ramet, Belgium
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