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Round or Square

Helical piles come in a variety of configurations.  Round tube type and solid square shaft helical piles are two of the most common. Explore the difference between round shaft and square shaft helical piles, benefits, applications and limitations. EBS has access and experience with both round shaft and square shaft helical piles. This allows us to recommend and install the system that fits loading requirements and site factors for the best possible solution.

Square Shaft Helical Piles

At EBS Geostructural, we use Chance solid square shaft helical piles of different sizes ranging from 1.5" to 2.25". These piles are incredibly efficient to install, and they require smaller equipment and less space to deliver the necessary loads. Furthermore, they can be installed in areas with limited access and require a smaller lay-down area.  Their unique construction and profile allow them to penetrate denser bearing strata and deliver higher loads. The smaller cross-section of the shaft also allows the Chance helical pile to progress through cobbles that stop the progression of larger cross-section piles.

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Round Shaft Helical Piles

Round shaft helical piles are an excellent choice for supporting loads with an above-grade requirement. EBS Geostructural will use round shaft helical piles when the project and site conditions make sense. For example, if a design solution requires high lateral loads from our helical pile installation, round shaft helical piles may more efficiently support this load, depending on site access and soil conditions.

Resistance 

During installation, a square shaft helical pile will experience less resistance than a round shaft helical pile. This results from the square shaft creating a round hole during installation. The square shaft has less ground engagement in the round hole.  A round shaft will be completely engaged for the whole circumference, increasing friction on the pile. This friction increases as it is installed.

Installation Efficiency

With less shaft resistance on the square shaft helical pile, more torque is delivered to the helical plates for a more efficient installation and deeper penetration into dense soil. More efficient installation translates to smaller equipment. Smaller equipment gives EBS Geostructural a smaller site footprint and allows us into tight access locations.

Installation Into Cobbles

EBS Geostructural has the tools, techniques and experience to install helical piles through cobbles. Chance Square Shaft helical piles have a much smaller cross-section than their equivalent Round Shaft Helical pile. This means Square Shaft Piles need to displace soil and cobbles less distances and can make their way through the cobbles and penetrate deeper into dense soil.

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