Let’s take a look at a helical anchor foundation system in action. First of all, these long rods function in much the same way as a helical piling solution, a system we explored in a previous article, but they’re rated for axial tension, whereas pilings base their functions on axial compression. Otherwise, their two labels are often used interchangeably. As for applications, temporary structures seem like a good place to begin.
Anchoring Temporary Structures
Imagine a rolling meadow at the edge of an agricultural complex, with livestock wandering far afield. A temporary livestock pen provides an ideal shelter, so a helical anchor foundation system is employed. The lead sections attach to a truck-mounted auger, drill deep down into the soil, and instant pull-out resistance is created. There’s no weather stoppages to worry about and no need to wait for a concrete truck. Better yet, the dependable load-carrying array is extendable, so the pen can be enlarged when more livestock requires shelter.
Addressing Temporary Build Factors
A concrete base would be impractical in the above example, especially when the shelter moves to another area on the land. Happily, the anchors don’t disturb the soil, they don’t require concrete fillers, and they are relocatable. Mobilisation costs are therefore low, for the foundation can basically unscrew and move to its new site, all without ever disturbing the environment. Then, because the rods and their plated section are adjustable, the newly located shelter, perhaps a garage for farm equipment this time, will adjust to the lay of the land. In other words, the installation angle adapts to the topographical characteristics of the ground.
Attending to Permanent Applications
In covering the transient usage areas, we may have created the impression that this is a lightweight engineering solution. That’s simply not true. These are tough structural steel shafts, parts that have welded steel plates. They’re galvanised, so corrosion is a non-issue. Indeed, a robust helical anchor foundation system is perfectly capable of supporting a permanent building. If groundwater problems persist, the anchors overcome the issue. Similarly, caving or settling soil conditions won’t affect a residential property, not when the anchors take on the load.
There are even times when a helical anchor foundation system rescues concrete blocks. The old foundations are crumbling and collapsing because of subsidence. Perhaps the ground has shifted or floodwater has altered the landscape in some unequivocal manner. Thankfully, the engineers have called in helical-equipped shafts. Intent on stopping the building’s walls from cracking, they screw the anchors into the soil so that the concrete foundations are braced by a figurative crutch.
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