Applications

ductile iron piles

When should I use Ductile Iron Piles?

If you are considering these techniques for your project:

  • If considering micropiles.
  • If considering helical anchors, particularly with low capacities where increased capacity improves the design efficiency.
  • Short piles where installation speed or project size makes good fit.
  • Long piles where elimination of splicing or working with small sections maximizes benefit.
You encounter one or more of the following challenges:

  • Poor soil conditions – deep soft soils, fills and organics
  • Vibrations
  • Adjacent structures
  • Difficult access and constrained sites
  • Low overhead
  • Variable grades


Benefits of Ductile Iron Piles


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Cost-Effective

Often provide a 15-25% cost savings over traditional driven piles or drilled micropiles.

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Rapid Installation

Daily production rates range from 600 to 1,400 feet.

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Low Vibration

High-frequency driving process results in very low vibrations allowing installation to occur within feet of existing structures.

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High Load-Carrying Capacity

Working capacities range from 25 to 125 tons in compression, and 20 to 50 tons in tension.


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Flexibility

The Plug & Drive System allows for easy length adjustments in the field when faced with fluctuating bearing layer depths.

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Easy Access

Mobile equipment and short pile sections allow for rapid work in constrained areas, sloping ground and limited lay-down areas.

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Minimal Waste

The pile is cut off once the design depth has been reached and the excess is used as the starter pile for the next location, yielding virtually no waste.

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Quality Installation

Load-bearing capacity and pile length are determined on-site through load testing and monitoring of penetration resistance and driving.


Typical Applications

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Foundations

Ductile Iron Piles provide reliable support for commercial, industrial, residential and infrastructure foundations including new construction, additions to existing facilities and some retrofit applications. The system offers rapid and cost-effective support for a wide range of loading conditions including axial and tension demands at pile caps and along grade beams. Ductile Iron Piles are uniquely suited to handle installations in urban areas by overcoming issues with constrained site conditions, vibrations, variable site grades and working next to adjacent buildings.

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Floor Slabs

Structural floor slabs are often required on sites containing problematic soil conditions where foundation support is planned. Support of Ductile Iron Piles provides the same advantages of cost-effective and rapid structural floor slab support offered for foundations.

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Tension

Building foundations, retaining walls and tower foundations are often subjected to uplift demands caused by wind, seismic loads or perhaps the structural framing details. Ductile Iron Piles are installed as grouted Friction elements with a high-strength threaded reinforcing bar placed in the center of the grouted pile. The bar is structurally connected into the pile cap to offer tension resistance, developed through friction of the bonded zone. Typical allowable tension capacities range from 40 to 100 kips.

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Tanks

Heavily-loaded storage tanks impart large areal loads on foundation soils. Placement of tanks on soft, compressible soils often requires deep foundations to provide load support and settlement control. Ductile Iron Piles offer support with high-capacity elements. The mobile equipment is able to work within constrained areas often with overhead obstructions, making the system a preferred solution in industrial and petrochemical settings. Further, the displacement installation process yields no spoils on environmentally-impacted sites.

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Solar

Solar farms feature a series of individual stand-alone foundations or grade beams that support the large solar panels. Rapid installation on a budget is often of critical importance for these projects. Ductile Iron Piles offer the advantages of rapid installation along with mobile equipment that allows for ease of access on remote sites. The unique Plug and Drive pile system also enables easy field adjustments to accommodate deeper piles as bearing layer depths change across the site. This reduces project down-time or substantial cost over-runs with inadequate pile lengths.

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Wind

Wind turbines are often constructed with large octagonal “inverted T” foundations to resist the axial loads and significant overturning pressures resulting from the wind-induced overturning moments. Ductile Iron Piles provide a solution that delivers high capacity for compression load support combined with high resistance to uplift or tension loads on the foundation. The combination provides an efficient engineering approach to limit turbine foundation sizes while resisting the high applied loads. Further, the mobile Ductile Iron Pile equipment is readily mobilized from site to site to handle installations over the large area of the wind farm. The versatility offered by simply adding pile lengths reduces the potential for issues developing from changed conditions related to bearing elevations (i.e. needing to go deeper to bear on rock).

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Underpinning

Ductile Iron Piles offer foundation support where retrofit construction requires additional resistance to existing foundations or where buildings have experienced settlement-related distress. Provided adequate access is possible, the Ductile Iron Piles are installed adjacent to or through existing foundations to provide a structural support solution. Underpinning applications with Ductile Iron Piles often require a detailed structural connection design and possible pre-drilling through existing footings to accomplish the installation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Ductile Iron Piles (DIPs)?

Ductile Iron Piles (DIPs) are modular, technically efficient driven pile systems manufactured from a cast iron melt via a centrifugal-casting process. With standard DIP lengths of 16.4 feet (5 m), the piles employ a proprietray Plug & Drive™ connection system enabling additional pile lengths to be quickly added without added equipment or splicing. Piles of varying lengths can be driven to depth and the cut-off section is used as the lead section for the next pile, resulting in minimal or no waste.

Where have DIPs been installed?

Tens of Millions of feet of DIPs have been installed throughout North America and Europe over the past three decades.

When should you consider using Ductile Iron Piles?

You are considering the following techniques:

  • Micropiles
  • Helical anchors, particularly with low capacities where increased capacity improves the design efficiency
  • Short piles where quick installation and easy mobilization benefits a small project
  • Long piles where elimination of the time and cost of splicing or working with small, easily transportable pile sections provides maximum benefit

You encounter one or more of the following challenges:

  • Poor soil conditions – deep soft soils, fills and organics
  • Vibrations
  • Adjacent structures
  • Difficult access and constrained sites
  • Low overhead
  • Variable grades

What are the primary advantages of using Ductile Iron Piles?

  • Cost-Effective: Often provide a 15-25% cost savings over traditional driven piles or drilled micropiles
  • Rapid Installation: Daily production rates range from 600 to 1,400 feet
  • Low Vibration: High-frequency driving process results in very low vibrations allowing installation to occur within feet of existing structures
  • High Load-Carrying Capacity: Working capacities range from 25 to 100 tons in compression, and 20 to 50 tons in tension
  • Flexibility: The Plug & Drive System allows for easy length adjustments in the field when faced with fluctuating bearing layer depths
  • Easy Access: Mobile equipment and short pile sections allow for rapid work on constrained sites, sloping ground and limited lay-down areas
  • Minimal Waste: The pile is cut-off once the design depth has been reached and the excess is used as the starter pile for the next location, yielding virtually no waste
  • Quality Installation: Load-bearing capacity and pile length are determined on-site through load testing and monitoring of penetration resistance and driving

What are typical applications for Ductile Iron Piles?

Most common applications include:

  • Foundations
  • Floor slabs
  • Tanks
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Tension
  • Underpinning

Can Ductile Iron Pile systems resist both compression and tension loads?

Ductile Iron Piles are used to resist both compression and tension loads. Compression loads are resisted through either end-bearing on dense/hard soil or rock or through frictional resistance developed with a grouted bond zone within competent soil. The bond zone is created by grouting the annular space created by driving the Ductile Iron Pile outfitted with a patented oversized grout tip. Tension loads are resisted using the same frictional mechanism but with a central high-strength threaded reinforcing bar in the pile as a reaction to uplift loads and to engage the frictional resistance in reverse.

What types of soils can Ductile Iron Piles be used in?

Ductile Iron Piles are well-suited for supporting loads in a variety of problematic soil conditions including both cohesive and non-cohesive soils. Typical geotechnical conditions requiring the use of Ductile Iron Piles consist of:

  • loose or soft undocumented fill
  • loose sand to medium dense sand
  • soft and compressible clay and silt
  • peat and organics

The DIPs are designed and installed to penetrate these problematic soil conditions and develop resistance through either end-bearing on competent soil or rock or through frictional resistance afforded by a grouted bond-zone formed along the bottom portion of the pile. Ductile Iron Piles resisted by end-bearing are installed to achieve a particular “set” criteria while penetrating into a dense layer (i.e. very dense sand, glacial till, hard clay, etc) or refusal on rock. Friction DIPs require the presence of a loose to very dense granular soil or firm to hard cohesive soil to develop a grouted bond zone capable of providing sufficient frictional resistance with the soil to achieve the design capacity.

What are the skin friction values for cohesive and non-cohesive soils?

Allowable skin friction values depend on the specific soil condition in which the bond is being developed as well as the consistency or density of the layer. The following figures provide approximate ranges of skin friction values for cohesive and non-cohesive soil layers.

allowable skin friction values- ductile iron piles

Do Ductile Iron Piles offer higher corrosion resistance to conventional micropiles or steel piles?

Yes, DIPs do offer superior corrosion resistance. The materials used to manufacture the pile contain higher silicon and carbon contents when compared to traditional steel products, resulting in greater corrosion resistance. The excess carbon acts as a filtering mesh preventing corrosion penetration, while the silicon causes the formation of a durable protective iron silicate outer layer. Sacrificial corrosion rates are well established in the Austrian standard ONR 22567 (as determined by MA39, i.e. Material Testing Authorities, Vienna). Ductile Iron Pile designs must consider the corrosion susceptibility of a site and either reduce the allowable design values based on a reduced pile sectional area or incorporate grout to reduce corrosion concerns.

How much vibration and sound does the installation of Ductile Iron Piles generate?

DIPs are installed using a hydraulic hammer that delivers high-frequency impact ramming energy during the driving process. The high frequency energy combined with the penetration of relatively small diameter DIPs results in low vibration loads that dissipate rapidly during driving. The vibration energy is often not perceptible at only short distances (5 or 10 feet) away from the installation. Many DIP projects have been successfully completed with installation occurring within 18 inches of existing buildings. The limitation is often more related to equipment access than vibrations during installation. Sound levels are comparable with other earthwork equipment operations.

Can DIPs be installed on a constrained site?

Ductile Iron Piles are often a preferred solution on constrained sites for multiple reasons. Transportation and staging of the piles is easily managed because of the 5m (16.4 ft) standard lengths which allows for easy access in urban environments. It also requires limited lay down areas. The mobile equipment can operate within limited access areas, excavations or within areas with varying grades. As a result, DIPs are an ideal solution for constrained sites or those challenged with access issues.

How can I determine whether Ductile Iron Piles are a viable solution for my project?

Designated DuroTerra Regional Partners facilitate design and installation services for ductile iron pile products. Visit the Regional Partner {link to partner page map} to locate your local Ductile Iron Pile expert and the team will be happy to work with you on your project. If you have any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to contact DuroTerra directly at 781.817.6053.

How can I use Ductile Iron Piles for my project?

Ductile Iron Pile project design and installation is handled through DuroTerra’s network of Regional Partners. Visit the Regional Partner page to find your local Ductile Iron Pile expert and they will be happy to assist you directly with your project.

What is DuroTerra’s role?

DuroTerra is the distributor of Ductile Iron Piles in North America. We have partnered with leading companies throughout North America who specialize in DIP design and installation, providing customers with a more efficient, cost-effective deep foundation alternative for your projects. DuroTerra works closely with all Regional Partners to ensure that proper design and installation methods are executed.


 
 
 

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