What Are Screw Piles And How Do They Work?

Screw piles are a type of foundation installed in the ground with minimal noise and vibration. Wounding the screw pile into the ground is an efficient way of installing them. Coupled with different dispersing load mechanisms, the screw piles can provide in-ground performance in a range of soils, including earthquake zones. They can be rapidly installed with less disturbance to the soil during installation.

How they work

The screw piles comprise of circular steel sections with helices attached to them. During installation, the screw piles cut into the soil as opposed to auguring through it. The shafts and helical flight are designed to suit the different ground conditions. Once the pile has reached the target depth, it typically filled with concrete and permanently remain in place. The protruding reinforcing can be used to increase the capacity of the pile or provide the connection to the building structure above.

How are screw piles connected?

While connecting the piles to the building, the interface between the building structure and the pile is the most important part of the design. It needs to be handled with care because the connection considers the ground and the building that the piles will be. This requires Structural and Geo-technical input.

The engineering requirement of installing the screw pile

Foundation is the most important part of a building. It makes the building strong for many years and also helps it withstand harsh conditions such as earthquakes and tornados. So it makes sense that engineer takes valuable measure when designing the foundation. There are many factors you need to consider when determining the screw pile foundation that fits your building. Some of the factors include:

  • Building plan: A building plan should show how many screw piles should be and the exact place they should be.
  • Site plan: A site plan is used to identify literal and headroom restrictions, especially when working close to adjacent buildings or inside a building. It is also used to determine the type and size of the machinery to be used during the installation process.
  • Design loads: design loads determines the type and size of the shaft used when designing the pile.

The screw pile displaces the soils as it is screwed into the ground just as a timber screw into a prank. Due to the slender shaft diameter, it’s a less likely to hit obstacles, meaning it offers maximum protection to the building.