Sheet Piles 101: What Are Sheet Piles?

Sheet piles are formed from steel plates with interlocking edges, which can be used for sectional construction. Sheet piles are grooved at the end and have a tongue-shaped portion that allows them to be locked together. This particular style, called the Larssen shape is the most common design, but sheet piles are manufactured in a variety of designs.

Sheet piles can be used in the construction of both temporary and permanent structures. They can hold back soil during excavation, and hence it can be used to reinforce retaining walls while also preventing soil erosion.

Types of Sheet Piles:

Depending on the pattern used and the material employed, sheet piling may be categorized into three types: anchored sheet piling, cofferdams, and cantilever. Each of these methods can be used with any type of sheet piling material, including steel, aluminum, and pre-stressed concrete.

Anchored sheet piling:

When you need to construct a wall that does not exceed 5 meters in height, anchored sheet piles are a good option. The anchors ensure stability, so the soil is not disturbed by penetration.


Built as enclosures, these cofferdams are used to protect against water intrusion and soil contamination during construction. While they were designed primarily for temporary application, they can be made permanent by applying waterproofing parts and other sealants.


This type of sheet piling is similar to anchored sheet piling, except that this form is only supported at one end. This allows for flexibility and may not be ideal for wall support that exceeds 4.5 meters.

Uses of Sheet Piles:

1. Sheet piles are used to provide sturdy support for below-level or underground wall enclosures.
2. Sheet piles can be used in sites ranging from excavation zones, basements, underground structures, and ship harbors, among others.
3. Sheet piles are a sustainable option, especially in cases where recycled steel sheet piles can be reused.
4. Sheet piles are available in a variety of sizes and weights, depending on your specific needs.
5. Sheet piles can be used as a barrier, placed around an excavation site to prevent soil loss and sloughing.

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