Helical piers are a type of pier that gets torqued into the soil vs driven in. The main reason for this is it allows you to drive into the soil with no counterweight of the structure. This works especially well on light structures or preconstruction projects. Some other benefits are when you know the problematic soils are shallow this allows you to surpass the weaker soils and get down to the stronger soils. Helical piers are also ideal when you are trying to achieve uplift. Helical piers work very well on any preconstruction project whether it’s a building, concrete slab, or swimming pool. They work great for intergrading into the concrete foundation. They are also recommended for work to be done on loading bearing walls, foundations, or slabs.
What are Helical piers made of?
Most helical piles are round, hollow shafts or square, solid shafts that extrude from steel and come in a wide variety of diameters and gauges to serve different types of desired projects.
One or more steel screw threads which are also called helical bearing plates are welded onto the shaft. This design allows for the ample downforce which is needed to penetrate into the soils as it’s being screwed into the earth. Technically speaking, this is what makes it a helical pile. The angle of the screw is standard, although the size and shape can vary based on the application and soil specifications that are needed for the project.
There is a shear lug at the head of the pile, which fits machine-driven, rotary hydraulic attachments. These attachments are powered by either a small or large excavator all depending on the size of the pile.
HOW DO HELICAL PILES WORK?
Helical piles are installed by twisting them into the soil, this is similar to how a corkscrew is twisted into a bottle of wine. As the shaft of each pile is twisted and placed below the earth’s surface, additional extension segments are connected with bolted couplers and screwed into the soil as well. This process results in a single helical pile which can extend hundreds of feet below the ground’s surface.