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 difficult ground conditions exist. Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd has extensive experience in the design and installation of either Universal Bearing Piles (UBP) or alternative Tubular Piles.

They are ideally suited to hard driving through difficult ground conditions (e.g. silty, fine, water bearing sands containing cobbles and boulders or dense sands/glacial till) and are particularly viable and offer a cost effective solution when founded on rock or a similar hard strata.

Universal Bearing Piles are traditionally installed as bridge abutment foundations on heavy industrial and port developments or indeed any construction application where a high capacity driven pile solutions is acceptable. Bearing piles offer an extremely environmentally responsible solution since they are a low displacement pile which generates no spoils arisings and the can be extracted and reused upon decommissioning of the structure.

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 driven initially 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 carrying out 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 then tested generally using ‘non-destructive’ pile testing methods such as CAPWAP which 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 allows for immediate follow on work to begin without any delay to site activities.
  • Suitable in a variety of ground conditions including those containing obstructions and hard ground conditions.
  • Capable of providing high structural capacities for horizontal forces.
  • No limits on the length of pile due to the ability for welding extension lengths in the event of varying ground conditions.