What are the Uses of Helical Piers?
Deep foundation of underpinning elements that are constructed using steel shafts with helical flights are known as helical piers. By twisting the shafts into the soil with advanced bearing depth, the torque is also monitored to reach a pile capacity.
The technology of helical pier is over 100 years old. For construction and repair or renovation works, this system is considered to be a proven system. This system is proven to be a very effective solution for foundation repairs especially when the soil condition would need installation of piles to be deep. The helical system is proved to be advantageous over other systems especially if the work involves existing buildings.
Helical piers foundations need equipment that are just smaller, lighter and less specialized unlike the equipment used in other kinds of deep foundations. With these conditions, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out, is generally lower compared to the other systems. Tight and confined areas are then more accessible to contractors when installing helical piles because of the specifications, while the larger equipment simply cannot fit.
Helical piers are turned in with a torque motor like a wood screw being turned into a piece of wood, and this makes helical piles vibration free when installed that gives it an advantage. Be aware that it is not wise to add structures on an existing structures close by.
The torque of each helical pier should be continuously monitored by the contractor during installation of the helicals. The contractor usually would know at the end of the installation the load or capacity of each pier since the capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. Minimal excavation will suffice in a helical pile because it is turned or screwed in. Another advantage of helical piers is that you save on costs of removal and disposal because there are not spoils to be removed from the site.
Noise pollution is drastically lowered when helical piers are installed because of the use of smaller installation equipment that do not require violent hammering or banging.
Aside from being used in new construction projects, another very important advantage of using helical piers is that they can be great alternative for projects with failed existing foundations. Contractors also use the helical piers under the existing foundation, rather than remove and disposal it in a landfill, and when this is done, there is a deep foundation system that is created contributing to the green environment.
Several factors would affect your project, and so it is wise to ask the help of structural engineer to see which method would be best for your project.
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