Steel Piling in Marine Applications: Types, Durability and Installation



David Thompson, Technical Committee, Federation of Piling Specialists, Chief Piling Engineer, Dew Construction, Oldham, UK


Demand for larger and deeper berthing facilities at harbours and ports is constantly increasing to satisfy the expansion of world trade. The Port Engineer has a range of construction techniques available when planning new structures, and steel piling is often the material of preferred choice for qualities of robustness, reliability, and speed of installation compared to other options. This paper presents an overview of steel pile types, their durability, and the methods of installation and driving equipment most commonly used in maritime situations.

Steel pile types

Bearing piles

Universal H Piles are low displacement piles particularly beneficial for penetrating dense stratums and hard rock. They are generally used in buried structures where the pile shaft is fully supported to prevent buckling failure about the weak axis of the profile. Soil heave and transmission of ground vibrations during installation are low compared to other pile types.

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