Tubular and H Section Bearing Piles

Tubular and H Section Bearing Piles are an ideal pile solution when foundations are required for complex structures or where difficult ground conditions exist. Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd has extensive experience in the design and installation of both Universal Bearing Piles (UBP) and the alternative – Tubular Piles.

These piles are ideally suited to hard driving through difficult ground conditions, such as silty, fine, water-bearing sands containing cobbles and boulders, or dense sands/glacial till. They are particularly viable, and offer an attractive and cost-effective solution, when the project site is underpinned by rock or a similarly hard strata of geological material.

Universal Bearing Piles are traditionally installed as bridge abutment foundations on heavy-industrial and port developments, or indeed any construction situation in which a high-capacity driven pile solution is acceptable. Bearing piles offer an extremely environmentally responsible solution. As they are a low displacement pile. generating no spoils arisings, Furthermore, they can be extracted and reused after the structure has been decommissioned.

UBP’s or Tubular Piles are generally installed using either Telescopic Leader Rigs or Conventional Piling methods, depending on the location and pile length required. The piles will be initially driven using either a leader-mounted or crane-suspended vibratory hammer and then impact driven using a suitable hydraulic impact hammer to the design installation set. This will have been pre-determined by a drivability assessment, to calculate driving resistance, dynamic pile stresses and estimated axial capacity, based on appropriate knowledge of hammer criteria and soil conditions. The best-known pile driving simulation software is GRLWEAP by Pile Dynamics.

Once installed to the required installation set, the bearing piles are generally tested using ‘non-destructive’ pile testing methods such as CAPWAP. These can simulate a static load test, to verify the axial capacity of the driven pile.

The main advantages of steel bearing piles are:

  • no spoil arising from installation, which is particularly important on ‘brownfield’ or contaminated sites.
  • fast construction, which allows immediate follow-on work to begin, without any delay to site activities.
  • suitability within a variety of ground conditions, including those containing obstructions and hard ground conditions.
  • the capability to provide high structural capacities for horizontal forces.
  • no limits to the length of pile, due to the possibility of welding extension lengths in, in the event of varying ground conditions.