Piling is used all over the world to create and strengthen foundations for buildings, from domestic houses to major skyscrapers. There is a range of piling techniques, each with its own benefits. One such technique is screw piling, but what is it and how does it work?
What Are Screw Piles?
Like other types of piling, screw piling involves steel shafts being inserted into the ground. They are inserted in segments which join together, and then concrete or grout is poured in, in order to support the structure above ground.
The structure rests on the piles which transfer the weight down through the weaker materials near the surface of the ground, into the level of compacted earth/bedrock which will be able to adequately support the weight.
Many types of piles are augered straight down through the earth, but screw piles (also sometimes known as helical piles) are wound into the ground in the same way a screw is screwed into wood.
How Do They Work?
Screw piles are made up of steel shafts that have helices attached around the outside. The size/number used will depend on a range of factors, for example, total load and soil condition.
Screw piles are wound into the ground by earth-moving equipment that is fitted with rotating powerheads. When all piles are in place and filled in with concrete they will be attached to the structure they are supporting.
Why Use Screw Piling?
Screw piling has been used for more than 200 years. In the past, they have been used to build roads and railways, as well as other engineering projects. The main advantage of screw piles is that they can be fitted quickly. They are also suitable for use in projects where there are other building structures close by, as a limited amount of equipment is needed to install them.
Increasingly, screw piling is being used for smaller domestic projects, in anything from sheds to decking. As with other piling techniques, they can also be used as an underpinning solution.
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