What are the Uses of Helical Piers?
Helical piers are described as deep foundation underpinning elements, with the use of steel shafts together with helical flights. 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. Considered to be proven for new constructions and repairs or renovation works, this system is well used. For foundation repairs where soil condition would need installation to be deep piles, this system is proven to be very effective solution. Helical piers as compared to other systems will prove to be more advantageous 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. Because of these features, the contractors can access to tight and confined areas to install helical piles versus the larger equipment which does not fit.
Another advantage of helical piers is that its installation is vibration free, and this is because they are turned in with a torque motor, a procedure similar to a wood screw being turned into a piece of wood. Note that it is not wise to create additional structure on an existing structure.
The torque should be regularly monitored when contractors are installing helicals in each pier. Because the capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating, the contractor will know the load or capacity that each pier can support.
Note that helical piers can be immediately loaded after installation, meaning there is no curing time after installation. Because helical piers are screwed in or turned, minimal excavation is sufficient. Costs of removal and disposal are saved when installing the piers because there are not spoils to be hauled or removed from the area of construction.
Note that with the use of smaller installation equipment like the helical piers, there is a drastic elimination of noise, like no 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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