A sheet pile wall consists of a series of sheet piles driven side by side into the ground. This results in a continuous vertical wall for the purpose of retaining an earth bank. A sheet pile wall is a flexible wall having negligible weight and weight has no control over the wall stability. The stability is entirely due to the passive resistance developed between the wall and the soil.
Sheet piles wall are generally used for water front structures, temporary construction, lightweight construction, coffer dams, riverbank protection and retaining the sides of excavation Sheet piles wall cannot be used in the strata of gravels and boulders; and for very heavy Walls.
Types of Sheet Pile Walls
Sheet piles are pre-cast members comprising varieties ranging from simple wood planks and light gauge sheet metals to heavy sections made of reinforced concrete and structural steel members.
Timber sheet piles – These are generally used for temporary structures and braced sheeting in excavation works. If it is to be used in permanent structures above water table, some form of preservative treatment shall be given. Even given the preservative treatment the life of timber sheet pile is short, Timber sheet piles are joined by means of tongue and groove joint. Timber piles are not suitable in the strata consisting of gravel and boulders.
Concrete sheet piles – These are pre-cast concrete members usually joined by tongue and groove joints as shown in Fig.2 below. They are relatively heavy and bulky and displace large volume of soil during driving. This large volume displacement increases the driving resistance. Handling and driving should not damage the piles and suitable reinforcement shall have to be provided for this purpose.