What are Screw Piles and Its Advantages?

June 30th, 2017

Screw piles are deep foundation elements that use a helical plating system to “screw” rigid structural rods into the ground. They’re helical pile counterparts, to the point that their labels are used interchangeably, and gifted with the same construction-ready advantages. Let’s find out more about the displacement-less foundation solution before moving on to the benefits that make screw piles a preferred structural alternative.

Concrete-Filled Helical Shafts 

Take a look at the shaft before it sinks into the ground. The backhoe is securely holding the alloy-reinforced rod, so this is a good chance to investigate deeper. A helical plate is situated at the leading edge. Further up, a second trailing helical plate is welded to the shaft. It augments the screwing action when the screw pile rotates and drills into the soil. Incidentally, hollow shafts are also employed in piling products. The space in that hollow section can be filled with concrete or grout so that it creates composite strength, an amalgam that adds solid material strength to the metal-shafted backbone.

Intelligently Added Structural Advantages 

Earthquakes crack concrete foundations and send buildings tumbling to the ground. If that concrete is poured into a series of screw piles, the rigid metal shafts won’t crack or deform. The result of this composite product is liquefaction counteraction. The seismic shock may severely reduce soil stiffness, with the ground rippling perilously, but those screw piles and their concrete core won’t be damaged by ground liquefying. Other adverse conditions are equally combated, so muddy dirt and shifting sands won’t trouble the deeply sunk helical piles. In other words, although this structural grounding technique is entirely rigid, the benefits associated with the screwed shafts lean sharply towards application flexibility.

Observed Installation Benefits

A talent for suiting any soil condition has to rank the screw piles family and its torsionally adjusted cousins highly. Next, what about the installation advantages? Primarily, when installed by a properly equipped excavator, the buried shafts are immediately ready for their loading duties. Also of relevance here, those machine-screwed shafts don’t displace huge volumes of soil. In fact, they barely dislodge any ground soil, so there’s no backfill, no wire mesh, no footings, and no drying times to worry about. Unlike that concrete base, screw piles use mechanical fasteners and pile cap modules to bypass solid material inflexibility.

At the end of the day, screw piles are as feature-flexible as they are structurally rigid. That solid profile doesn’t fully interact with the soil, not when the shaft and helical plates use anchoring force instead of concrete solidity. All the same, the deeply sunk shafts immediately deliver superior structural solidity, a foundations alternative that defies ground liquefaction and all soft soil conditions.


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