Applications

ductile iron piles

When should I use Ductile Iron Piles?

If your project has:

  • Tight access, limited laydown area or variable grades.
  • Vibration-sensitivity.
  • Low overhead clearance restrictions (18 feet and above).
  • Building additions.
  • Deep bearing layers that result in pile splicing or slow pile installation.


If you are considering these techniques for your project:

  • Micropiles.
  • Helical Piles.
  • Short piles where installation vibrations, speed or project site constraints or size makes a good fit.
  • Long piles where elimination of splicing or working with small sections maximizes the benefit.
You encounter one or more of the following challenges:

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


Benefits of Ductile Iron Piles


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Cost-Effective

Often provide 15-25% cost savings over drilled micropiles and other deep foundation systems.

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Rapid Installation

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

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Low Vibration

High-frequency, low amplitude driving energy results in low vibrations allowing installation to occur within and adjacent to existing structures.

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High Load-Carrying Capacity

Working capacities range from 25 to more than 100 tons in compression, and often 20 to 50 tons in tension.


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Depth Flexibility

The Plug & Drive System allows for easy length adjustments in the field when faced with fluctuating bearing layer depths.  The system can easily be installed to 20 feet or more than 100 feet by simply adding additional DIP sections with the Plug & Drive moment-resisting, drive-on connection.

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Easy Access

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

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Minimal Waste

The system generates virtually no waste since the cut-off section of pile is used as the starter pile for the next location.  This is a significant advantage over traditional steel piles (pipe or H-piles) on sites with varying rock elevations that would result in wasted cut-off material or having to add in costly field splicing.  Ductile Iron Piles eliminate these concerns completely.

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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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Building 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 within low overhead conditions or next to adjacent buildings.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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Floor Slabs

Structural floor slabs are often required on sites containing problematic soil conditions where foundation support is also planned. Support of slabs using Ductile Iron Piles provides the same advantages of cost-effective and rapid installation for support of structural floor slabs.  Ductile Iron Piles are also often the preferred option for support of floor slab renovation projects within existing facilities where overhead clearances are limited.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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Tension

Building foundations, retaining walls and tower foundations are often subjected to uplift demands caused by wind, seismic loads, lateral earth pressures or perhaps the structural framing details. Ductile Iron Piles are installed as grouted friction piles 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 the frictional capacity of the grout-to-ground bond zone. Typical allowable tension capacities range often range from 20 to 50 tons.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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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 where access, overhead clearance issues and vibrations are a concern. Further, the displacement installation process yields no spoils on environmentally-impacted sites.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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Solar

Solar farms feature a series of individual stand-alone foundations or grade beams that support 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.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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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).  Ductile Iron Piles are also used to support heavily-loaded wind farm substation foundations.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


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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.

View Our Case Studies & Related Projects >


Frequently Asked Questions

What are Ductile Iron Piles (DIPs)?

Ductile Iron Piles (DIPs) are modular, low vibration driven piles manufactured from ductile iron  via a centrifugal-casting process. With standard DIP lengths of 16.4 feet (5 m), the piles employ a unique Plug & Drive connection system enabling additional pile lengths to be quickly added without added mechanical connections or field 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 the world over the past three decades.  DuroTerra specializes in Ductile Iron Pile projects primarily in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

When should you consider using Ductile Iron Piles?

If your project has:

  • Tight access, limited laydown area or variable grades
  • Vibration-sensitivity
  • Low overhead clearance restrictions (18 feet and above)
  • Building additions
  • Deep bearing layers that result in pile splicing or slow pile installation

You are considering the following techniques:

  • Micropiles
  • Helical piles
  • Short piles where installation vibrations, speed or project site constraints or size makes DIPs a good fit
  • Long piles where elimination of splicing or working with small pile sections maximizes the benefit

You encounter one or more of the following challenges:

  • Poor soil conditions – deep soft soils, fills and/or organics
  • Vibration sensitivity
  • 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 drilled micropiles and often other traditional deep foundations
  • Rapid Installation: Daily production rates typically range from 600 to more than 1,400 feet per crew
  • Low Vibration: High-frequency driving process results in low vibrations allowing installation to occur within or adjacent to existing structures
  • High Load-Carrying Capacity: Working capacities range from 25 to more than 100 tons in compression, and often 20 to 50 tons in tension
  • Flexibility: The Plug & Drive connection 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, variable working grades and limited lay-down areas
  • Minimal Waste: Once completed, the pile is cut-off and the cut-off section including the bell is used as the starter pile for the next location, yielding virtually no waste
  • Quality Installation: Pile capacity and 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:

  • Building Foundations
  • Floor slabs
  • Tension
  • Infrastructure Foundations
  • Tanks
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • 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 grout-to-ground bond zone within competent soil. The bond zone is created when the Ductile Iron Pile is driven with a patented oversized grout cap and grout is simultaneously pumped to fill the annular space. Tension loads are resisted using the same grout-to-ground frictional mechanism engaged in tension by using a high-strength threaded reinforcing bar centralized in the pile as a reaction to resist uplift loads.

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 portion of the pile installed in the competent soils. Ductile Iron Piles developing capacity in 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 for the grout-to-ground interface 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 developed by the pile manufacturer from decades of load test experience 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 (i.e. sacrificial layer) or incorporate exterior 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, low-amplitude impact ramming energy during the driving process. The high frequency energy combined with the penetration of relatively small diameter DIPs result in low vibrations that dissipate rapidly during driving. Vibration monitoring on typical sites show peak particle velocities on the order of 0.25 to 1.0 inches/second within a few feet of the pile installation.  These vibration levels dissipate rapidly with distance and are often not perceptible at only short distances away from the installation. Many DIP projects have been successfully completed with installation occurring within existing (and active) facilities and 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 or site with low overhead conditions?

Ductile Iron Piles are often a preferred solution on constrained sites for multiple reasons. Transportation and staging of the piles are easily managed because of the 5m (16.4 ft) standard lengths which allows for easy delivery access in urban environments and limited laydown requirements.  The single piece of tracked 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.  Further, the system is often installed in areas with low overhead conditions.  The pile sections can be cut in half or thirds and a drive-on coupler is used to create a moment resisting connection, allowing the piles to be installed in 18 feet or greater overhead clearance.  The system is often a preferred approach in low overhead conditions like warehouses, industrial facilities and commercial buildings because of the speed of installation and high capacities combined with the clean installation process and low vibrations.

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

DuroTerra representatives are pleased to provide technical feasibility and constructability assessments to evaluate whether Ductile Iron Piles are a good match for your project.  Our engineers can assist you with preliminary feasibility designs based on geotechnical information and structural plans.  You can complete the project feasibility assessment link on the website, drop us an email at

or call us 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 designers and installers. If you are interested in evaluating Ductile Iron Piles for your project, receiving a proposal for installation or interested in learning more about designing or installing the system, please complete the project feasibility assessment link on the website, drop us an email at

or call us directly at 781.817.6053.

What is DuroTerra’s role?

DuroTerra is the distributor of TRM’s Ductile Iron Piles in North America. We continue to partner with leading engineers and specialty contractors 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 of our customers including geotechnical engineers, structural engineers, owners, general contractors and architects to evaluate feasibility of the system.  As projects evolve, we work closely with our DIP designers and installers to provide technical and construction support to ensure that proper design and installation methods are executed.


 
 
 

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