• Helical Pile and Tieback Installation with Hand-Held Equipment

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    Helical piles and tiebacks are installed with hydraulic drive heads that rotate the product into the ground by the application of torque.

  • Expansion Pressure Testing of Polyurethane Foam for Concrete Stabilization and Lifting

    By Jordan Larsen, P.E. Application Engineer

    The PolyLevel® product line manufactured and distributed by Supportworks, Inc. (Supportworks) includes several expanding foam products that are injected beneath concrete slabs to fill voids and/or lift settled sections.

  • Benefits and Uses of PolyLevel┬«

    By Bob Waldron PolyLevel® Product Line Manager

    The Supportworks, Inc. (Supportworks) PolyLevel® System is a two-part urethane polymer that expands into rigid, structural foam to fill voids, stabilize and lift concrete, and offer solutions to a wide range of geotechnical and structural applications.

  • Retrofit Helical Piers vs Hydraulically-Driven Push Piers

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    Both retrofit helical piers and hydraulically-driven push piers can be used to stabilize settled structures or support additional loads transferred to existing foundations.

  • Hydraulic Drive Head Performance Curves For Prediction of Helical Pile Capacity

    By Don Deardorff, P.E. Senior Application Engineer

    Helical piles often rely on the final installation torque for ultimate capacity verification. When helical piles are designed using traditional bearing capacity equations....

  • Boardwalks, Pedestrian Bridges & More: Ideal Applications for Helical Piles

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    Even smaller diameter helical piles can develop relatively high capacities, yet be installed with hand held equipment and smaller machines such as mini-excavators and skid steers. This makes helical piles well-suited for projects with limited...

  • An Introduction to Retrofit Push Piers

    By Kyle Olson, P.E. Senior Structural Engineer

    Design professionals are becoming confident with utilizing helical piers on their retrofit foundation stabilization or repair projects.There is, however, another solution that can often achieve similar results. For certain projects, "push piers" (occasionally referred to as "resistance piers"), may offer...

  • Monitoring Torque to Determine Helical Pile Capacity

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    The torque correlation method is a well-documented and accepted method for estimating or verifying helical pile capacity. In simple terms, the torsional resistance generated during helical pile installation....

  • Design Considerations for Retrofit Helical Piers

    By Kyle Olson, P.E. Senior Structural Engineer

    There are three ways to predict helical pier capacity with respect to the soil; i.e., individual bearing, cylindrical shear and torque correlation methods. These methods are appropriate for both new construction and retrofit applications. Although soil capacity typically governs...

  • Critical Depth for Helical Pile Design in Sands

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    For new construction applications near and along coasts, helical piles compete well against the more traditional driven wood piles and driven precast concrete piles due to minimal vibrations and the ability to easily add extensions to reach deeper, competent soils.

  • Geotechnical Investigation Guidelines for Helical Pile Designs

    By Don Deardorff, P.E. Senior Application Engineer

    Design professionals rely on site-specific geotechnical investigations to provide soil strength parameters for use in foundation design. However, when these investigations do not properly identify a suitable bearing stratum, the project may be impacted with additional costs or delays...

  • Predicting Helical Pile Capacity

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    There are three common methods for predicting helical pile capacity; the individual bearing method, the cylindrical shear method and the torque correlation method. The first two methods are rooted in traditional geotechnical methodology, slightly modified with empirical data, and are generally used to calculate or estimate pile capacity during the design phase.

  • An Introduction to Helical Soil Nails

    By Don Deardorff, P.E. Senior Application Engineer

    Soil nailing is a method of earth retention that relies on a grid of individual reinforcing strands or members installed within a soil mass to create an internally stable gravity wall/retaining system. Soil nail wall technology began in Europe with use of the New Austrian Tunneling Method in rock formations in 1961. The technology...

  • Corrosion Considerations For Helical Pile Foundations

    By Kyle Olson, P.E. Senior Structural Engineer

    The term "corrosion" is used to describe the degradation of a material or its properties due to reaction with its environment. Although most materials are known to corrode over time, corrosion is typically considered as the destructive attack of a metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction.During this process, ions from the base metal migrate from the surface, resulting in material loss.

  • The Importance of Helical Pile Coupler Details

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    The coupler detail is an important feature when considering helical piles and when selecting or specifying a product manufacturer.Manufacturers may advertise that they carry the same or equivalent helical shaft. However, shaft and coupler details are not consistent between manufacturers and these differences may not be readily apparent by simply reviewing product capacity tables.

  • Benefits and Uses of Helical Foundation Systems

    By Jeff Kortan, P.E. Director of Engineering

    Many designers view helical foundation systems with some degree of skepticism as a fairly new technology, especially in applications such as deep foundation support for a structure. In actuality, the use of helical piles in construction dates back nearly 200 years.

  • The Importance of Properly Manufactured Helix Plates for Helical Pile Performance

    By Don Deardorff, P.E. Senior Application Engineer

    The initial installation of a helical pile is performed by applying a downward force (crowd) and rotating the pile into the earth via the helix plates; a.k.a, helix blades or helix flights. Once the helix plates penetrate to a depth of about 2 to 3 feet, the piles generally require less crowd and installation is accomplished mostly by the downward force...

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