Vibratory hammers, propelled by eccentric weights or hydraulic motors, revolutionise sheet pile driving in soft and granular soils. Offering rapid installation and eco-friendliness, they evolve with tilting mechanisms and boom adjust features for enhanced capabilities.

What is sheet piling? Sheet piles are sections of Steel or PVC with interlocking edges driven into the ground to provide earth retention and excavation support. Vibratory hammers are usually used to install sheet piles in soft soil, and Impact hammers can be used if the soil is too hard or dense.

Sheet piling is often adopted on building projects to provide temporary retention for basement construction, while on civil projects, it is commonly used for riverbank protection, seawalls, cofferdams, etc.

Sheet piles are of immense importance and significance in a project as they can be reused. This sets them apart from other retention/shoring techniques. Traditionally, steel sheet piles were used all across the globe until as recently as 10-12 years back, when PVC sheet piles were introduced in the industry. These can prove to be very cost-effective alternatives to Steel sheets, though only if the requirement is for permanent works.

Excavator-mounted vibratory hammers: Vibratory hammers are highly effective for sheet pile driving in soft and granular soils. Their unique feature is harnessing vibrational energy through eccentric weights or hydraulic motors, creating high-frequency vibrations that reduce friction during penetration. Their rapid installation in specific soil types further enhances their appeal for efficient and eco-friendly sheet pile driving, especially where minimising environmental impact is important.

These Hammers have evolved significantly over the years, and now there are variants available with tilting mechanisms to hold, lift, and drive sheet piles in a single operation. If you need to drive up to 8m, you can opt for a unit suitable for a 20T excavator.

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Boom adjusts: By simply adding a gooseneck and making a boom adjust mechanism, you can increase the 20T excavators’ pile handling capability from 6-7m to 9-10m.  This relatively small investment provides greater capabilities to your excavator.

Vibro boom & gooseneck: 30T and 40T excavators can be equipped with gooseneck extensions or a vibro boom attachment to drive sheet piles up to a depth of 14-16m. Excavator-mounted setups are cheaper in both investment and operating costs. They are more popular worldwide due to their ease and speed of operation.

Side grip hammers: In case of space constraints, there are options for mounted side grip vibro hammers. E.g., if you need to drive sheet piles under a bridge/flyover, you cannot use a crane or a large excavator. In such a scenario, a side grip mounted on a 20T or 30T excavator can drive even up to 14m sheet piles.

PVC sheet piles vs steel sheet piles

Why PVC sheet piles? These are the most durable synthetic pile products in the world. PVC is the material of choice where environmental factors are a concern, as they do not rot, decay, rust, or spill. PVC sheet piles are specifically designed to replace conventional sheet piles, primarily where the retention is permanent.

Advantages of PVC sheet piling 

PVC is the most durable in corrosive environments, as wood rots, concrete spalls, and steel rusts. Independent testing and analysis show that properly designed and installed PVC walls can last 75+ years. PVC Sheet piles can be driven with vibratory hammers and do not require any other equipment.

PVC Sheet piles are available in colours that blend perfectly with marine applications. Using these can create a beautiful permanent retention wall, embankment, etc. Depending on the quantity, PVC sheet piles can also be manufactured in customised colours, elevating the aesthetics of any project.

Applications of sheet piles

Sheet piles serve many purposes in construction. They are commonly used for retaining walls, foundation support, and maritime infrastructure like wharf and quay walls. They also provide stability for bridge abutments, secure trenches during excavation, and create cofferdams for waterlogged areas. In urban projects, they facilitate underground parking structures and riverbank stabilisation. Additionally, sheet piles play a crucial role in pipeline installation projects. Their versatility makes them indispensable across diverse construction applications.

Suretech Infrastructure Pvt Ltd has over 30 years of experience in pile driving equipment for installing all types of temporary and permanent sheet piles and casings. With its vast reservoir of expertise, Suretech can help you select the most suitable equipment for your project and provide valuable engineering solutions no matter the scale or complexity of the project. Our product quality and product support are second to none in India. 

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