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Precast Reinforced Concrete Pile

Casting of reinforced concrete piles

The most common pile type in many parts of the world, such as Scandinavia, is the precast concrete pile. Precast concrete piles are commonly manufactured in square and ranging from about 250 mm to about 450 mm, with a maximum section length of up to about 20 m. Other pile sections exist and may include hexagonal, circular, triangular and H shapes.

Mounting of a concrete pile

The piles have generally been driven with a drop hammer of 3 to 4 tons, although in recent years, hydraulic hammers have become very common for driving precast concrete piles. I some countries, diesel hammers and occasionally also vibrators are used. Maximum allowable axial loads can be up to about 1 000 kN. The length of pile sections is often dictated by practical considerations including transportation, handling problems in sites on restricted area and facilities at the casting yard.

Standard concrete pile

Precast concrete piles can be constructed either in the factory or on site. The quality of the pile is very much affected by the construction and production process. A typical section of a Swedish precast concrete pile is shown.

Extending precast piles without joints is a lengthy process. It requires breaking down the projecting pile head to provide a suitable lap for the steel reinforcement and casting concrete to form the joint. Piles can also be connected by epoxy to form the joint. Good alignment of the pile sections is required to prevent excessive bending stresses developing on subsequent re-driving.

The pile length can be equipped with prefabricated joints. Other splicing methods commonly adopted include welding of steel end plates or the use of epoxy mortar with dowels.

Precast concrete piles are not suitable for soil deposits containing a significant amount of boulders. In such cases, the pile may be equipped with a pile shoe, which protects the pile tip during hard driving.

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