ArcelorMittalApplicationsSteel foundations

Steel foundations

Steel has been used for ages to build piled foundations for large buildings and skyscrapers. The main advantages of steel foundations are that steel is very resistant, much stronger than soils in which they are driven, so that they can resist very high loads.

Steel foundations are easily adaptable construction elements. Indeed, it is quite simple and cost-effective to adapt the length of an H-pile or of a steel tube on the job-site, for instance when the required bearing capacity is not achieved with the designed length. If the pile is too short, splicing can be performed, if it is too long, the pile can be cut off at the required elevation.

A reassuring feature of steel solutions is that the customer knows the quality of all the components that will be driven into the ground already before the installation. Besides, the quality of the steel element is identical all over the driven length.

Steel sheet piles used as retaining structures can also transfer significant vertical loads to the soils through friction and point bearing. A combined wall with Z or U-box piles can be chosen to increase the friction surface along the wall, as well as the toe bearing capacity.

In port structures, crane rails are usually placed on concrete beams, which rest on one or two lines of steel bearing piles driven at an equal distance.

Bridge abutments, basements,… are applications where steel sheet pile walls can be designed both as a retaining and as a bearing structure to transfer vertical loads from the superstructure to the soil.

Large tubular steel piles are the preferred solution in many maritime ports for the execution of deck on pile structures.

Steel H-piles are most often installed with impact hammers. The latest driving equipment allow a concise monitoring of key driving parameters, such as driving energy, stroke of the hammer, penetration rates of the pile, and so on. There are several computer programs that can analyse these results and provide bearing capacity predictions that are based on prior load tests.

In very hard soil conditions, hardened H-piles driving points will protect the toe of the pile from damage.

H-piles are very commonly used in the USA as foundations for buildings and bridge constructions. In Hong Kong, H-piles with very high yield strength (up to 460 MPa) have been used a couple of times in recent high-rise buildings projects.
Last modified: January 16, 2019