What are Helical Piers?

July 18th, 2017

Helical piers are alloy-reinforced shafts that penetrate deep into the soil. Known also as piles and anchors, even as screw-piles, the average onlooker won’t have a clue what they’re looking at, not unless they see these foundation pins threading their way into the ground. Even then, the curious spectator can’t know just how structurally beneficial the system actually is, so an explanation is in order, one that goes deep.

Helical Piers Defined 

We’ve covered the fundamentals. Helical piers are basically inflated earthen screws. The long rods are galvanised, equipped with several sloping plates, and shaped either as long cylinders or squared shafts. This is a mechanical build we’ve described several times, so let’s skip past the basics. First of all, helical piers don’t stop when that first segment screws into the ground. This is an extensible system, a foundations replacement or complementary structural support solution that features depth flexibility.

A Look at Advanced Helical Features 

Extensibility is the first sophisticated engineering hallmark of note. Next, square and cylindrical rods have special functions, with the curved profile acting as a stable ground support system when that ground is loaded with compressed kinetic forces. As for the square shafts, they’re selected when those ground conditions are charged with tension forces. Essentially, the soil below any parcel of land is composed of sedimentary rock and dirt, materials that compress and flex. By selecting the right helical piers, the toughened rods will endure, no matter how much lateral stress is applied by the different sedimentary layers.

Shaping Stable Helical Piers 

If the galvanised rods are shaped intelligently and graded according to their durable build, then the helical flights on those shafts must obviously mirror that solid backbone. In this metaphor, the “vertebrae” are the sloping plates. In our basic description, these thread emulators barely received a mention, yet they’re the part of the earthen screws that work with a hydraulic machine to drive the helical piers deep into the ground. Expect flexibility here, the kind of product versatility that adds between one and four helices to the lead shaft. Broadened diameters and thickened materials are also entirely viable here, with the changes to the helices augmenting soil anchoring permanence while still never disturbing the ground as the augering procedure advances.

Beyond the realisation that anchors and piers and piles have their labels used interchangeably, we’ve done our best to take this product description to the next level. More than massive ground screws, helical piers are sophisticated engineering resources. They install swiftly, don’t disturb the ground, and solve many challenging soil problems, including land settlement and wet ground situations. More adaptable than any traditional concrete foundations solution, the rods and their plated helices also function at their peak when the soil is loaded with compression and tension stress.

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