Helical Piers

HELICAL PIERS

A helical pier is a steel shaft with round helix plates that provides a foundation support for various types of structures. When the pier is rotated into the ground, the helix plates generate an axial thrust causing the pier to advance into the ground much like a screw into wood. A bracket is attached to the foundation wall and pier, allowing us to stabilize and support foundations that have settled, heaved or failed to perform as originally designed. Helical piers are usually the choice of structural engineers for older and lightly-loaded structures. Helical piers are becoming a better alternative to the traditional concrete caissons for new construction applications in both residential and commercial projects.

Ram Jack deep-driven steel helical piers are 2-3/8″ or 2-7/8″ diameter sectional pipe piles. They are hydraulically rotated into the ground to bear on rock or a solid soil stratum. The piles are manufactured from high strength carbon steel tubing into standard lengths of 3, 5 and 7 feet, with couplings on the ends that allow them to be connected together to achieve the necessary depth. They are coated with a polyethylene copolymer-based thermoplastic powder coating for corrosion protection.

Applications

Ram Jack steel piers are used to transfer loads from the soil near the surface to deeper, more suitable load-bearing strata below. They typically are used in conjunction with various foundation attachment brackets to underpin foundations of existing structures. They are usually installed plumb, as for supporting gravity loading, but may be installed at an angle if necessary to help stabilize a foundation against lateral loads. They are most often used to underpin distressed foundations, but can be used to support light loads such as wing walls, interior floors and porch slabs as well as heavier ones such as single- and multi-story buildings and electrical transmission towers.

Installation

  • Holes are dug at helical placement points to gain access to the foundation. Typically this is done from the exterior of the building, but can be done on the interior.
  • If needed, concrete on the foundation will be chipped away to allow for the proper transfer of the loads to the pier.
  • Piers are driven to a minimum embedment or torque as specified by an engineer, or to bedrock or a final torque refusal. Pier depth will vary based on the soils under the structure.
  • Brackets are attached to the pier and foundation to allow for lifting.
  • Lifting utilizes a manifold system which helps to synchronize the lifting process. The structure will then be lifted to a maximum practical recovery.
  • Holes are then re-compacted and the job site is cleaned up.

Helical piers being used to hold up a home while soil is excavated from under it.

Advantages

  • Environmentally friendly installation
  • Can be loaded immediately after install, thereby shortening the job schedule and reducing costs
  • Can be used in sensitive areas
  • No ground disturbance
  • Quick, one-stop installation
  • Easily removed and reused (using external bolted product)
  • Installation produces no spoils to be disposed of or re-mediated
  • No cement or curing
  • Measurable results
  • No weather delays
  • Installation utilizes no impact forces and produces no vibration, which minimizes the risk of damage to adjacent structures

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