Bored pile walls, also known as drilled shaft walls or caisson walls, are retaining structures commonly used in civil engineering and construction projects. These walls are built by drilling cylindrical holes into the ground, placing reinforcement, and filling the holes with concrete. Bored pile walls offer many types and designs, each tailored to specific soil conditions, project supplies, and construction methods. In this article, we will discover diverse types of bored pile walls and their applications in construction.
Contiguous Bored Pile Wall:
Contiguous bored pile walls consist of closely spaced bored piles installed with minimal gaps between adjacent piles. These walls are typically used in urban areas where space is limited and where soil conditions are relatively stable. Contiguous bored pile walls provide excellent retention and are commonly employed in basement construction, underground parking structures, and deep excavations where soil movement needs to be minimised.
Secant Bored Pile Wall:
Secant bored pile walls are constructed by installing primary piles first, followed by secondary piles that intersect with the primary piles. The primary piles are typically installed using a continuous flight auger (CFA) or rotary drilling method, while the secondary piles are installed using a smaller diameter to allow for intersecting. Secant bored pile walls offer improved watertightness and are commonly used in waterfront structures, subway tunnels, and deep excavation projects where groundwater control is critical.
Tangent Bored Pile Wall:
Tangent bored pile walls are similar to secant walls but are constructed with primary and secondary piles that do not intersect. Instead, the secondary piles are installed adjacent to the primary piles, forming a tangent line along the wall face. Tangent bored pile walls provide structural support and are often used in temporary shoring systems, deep foundation projects, and soil stabilisation applications.
Diaphragm walls, also known as slurry walls, are constructed by excavating a trench using a specialised grab or cutter attachment while supporting the surrounding soil with a bentonite slurry. Reinforcement cages are then inserted into the trench, and concrete is poured in stages to form a continuous wall. Diaphragm walls offer high structural integrity and are commonly used in deep basement construction, underground tunnels, and flood protection barriers.
Barrette Pile Wall:
Barrette pile walls are like diaphragm walls but are constructed with more comprehensive rectangular or trapezoidal-shaped excavations. These excavations are typically created using a grab or clamshell bucket, and reinforcement cages are placed within the excavated trench before pouring concrete. Barrette pile walls are suitable for projects requiring large structural loads and are commonly used in bridge abutments, deep foundations for high-rise buildings, and underground parking structures.
Applications in Construction:
Bored pile walls are commonly used as retaining structures to support excavations and prevent soil movement in construction projects. They provide structural stability and can accommodate varying soil conditions, making them ideal for retaining walls in urban developments, highway construction, and infrastructure projects.
Bored pile walls are widely used in basement construction to provide structural support and prevent groundwater infiltration. They offer efficient excavation support and can be installed in tight spaces, making them suitable for urban developments, commercial buildings, and residential complexes.
Bored pile walls are frequently used as deep foundations to support heavy structures and transfer loads to deeper, more stable soil layers. They offer high load-bearing capacity and can be installed to considerable depths, making them suitable for high-rise buildings, bridges, and industrial facilities.
Bored pile walls can also be used for ground improvement purposes, such as soil stabilisation and landslide mitigation. By installing bored pile walls in unstable soil conditions, engineers can improve the overall stability of the ground and reduce the risk of slope failure and ground movement.
Whether used as retaining walls, basement support systems, deep foundations, or ground improvement measures, bored pile walls play a vital role in enhancing the safety, constancy, and durability of civil engineering and construction projects.
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