Technology Spot – Sheet Piles

Sheet piles are used in civil engineering and marine coastal construction projects to build retaining walls.


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Steel sheet piles are often used in coastal environments

Sheet piles can be constructed from steel, aluminium, vinyl, fibre reinforced plastic, wood and pre-cast concrete. Sheet piles can be re-used as they are often used to form a temporary structure, such as a coffer dam.  The piles can easily be extended to the length required for the task.


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Coffer dam wall using steel sheet piling


In marine and coastal environments, steel piles are often used to create coffer dams, harbour walls, coastal protection, culverts and retaining walls for canals, rivers and weirs.

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Sheet piles being used to form a coffer dam on a slipway construction project

Sheet piles are held together with interlocking clasps. Anchors are used to give the piles additional strength to prevent them from buckling in the middle. The piles are pushed into the ground by specialist equipment that either hammers, pushes or vibrates the piles into the ground.

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Sheet piles lock onto one another with a clasp joint

Steel sheet piling can have a long service life with modest protection.

One way of extending the life of sheet piling in a marine environment is to fit sacrificial anodes. Sacrificial anodes create an electrochemical circuit in water that corrode instead of the steel sheet. In order to maintain a high level of protection the anodes need to be replaced on a regular basis.

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Sacrificial anodes are used to extend the life of steel sheet piles

Commercial & Specialised Diving can assist with sheet pile installation and removal.

Our divers can cut piles with burning equipment, weld sacrificial anodes in place and seal coffer dams from the outside.

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Steel sheet pile can be welded underwater

Commercial & Specialised Diving have over 20 years’ experience providing nationwide underwater services to the civil engineering and marine construction industries.

Commercial & Specialised Diving are experts in civil engineering and marine construction. Contact us to find out more on 01202 580007 or