|Short history of piling
structures are known to have existed in pre-historic times, and references
to cedar timber piles in Babylon can be found in the Bible. In the Middle
Ages, pile foundations supported a wide assortment of structures in Venice
and in Holland.
these many years were made from trees, whose branches were trimmed, and
were driven down with the small diameter at the bottom, until penetration
of the soil was no longer possible. This condition, known as refusal,
was a combined function of the soil stratigraphy and the limits of the
driving mechanism. Driving was probably by hand mauls, hand-operated machine
mauls, treadmill drivers, water wheel drivers and gang-operated rams.
Early pile driving equipment and methods
revolution, with its utilisation of steam power, changed the situation
drastically. The first steam-activated pile hammer was invented by Nasmyth
in 1845 and ushered in modern pile driving. Parallel to these developments,
structures larger than those previously built, e.g. bridge piers and large
buildings required pile capacities greater than those already available.