Beginner’s Guide About Pile Footing

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Structures support by foundations, which also carry loads from the structure to the soil. However, the layer to which the foundation transfers the load must possess the necessary settling characteristics and bearing capacity, which can only be done through pile footing.

In general, there are two types of foundation: shallow and deep. When the carrying capacity of the surface soil is sufficient to carry the loads impose by a structure, shallow footings are typically use. On the other hand, numerous forms of deep foundations are often utilize in situations when the load-bearing capacity of the surface soil is unable to adequately handle the loads that are impose by a structure. Therefore, the loads must be move to a deeper level where the soil layer can support them better. One of the deep foundation’s kinds is the pile foundation.

What is pile footing?

A type of deep foundation is typically known as pile footing. In pile footing, a long, slender column is made of concrete or steel that is use to support or carry a structure or transfer loads at intent depth using end bearing or skin friction.

When to use pile footing?

Below are the conditions being piling can be beneficial:

  • In the case of the high underground table, pile footing is the best option
  • The superstructure imposes heavy and irregular loads
  • When the soil is in a shallow depth, it is capable of being compress by piling
  • When there is the possibility of scrubbing for the nearby river or seashore, pile footing can be beneficial for this area
  • It is also possible if there is a canal or drainage system
  • When there is an impossibility of unearthing due to poor soil condition
  • When heavy seepage makes it impossible to maintain the foundation channel dry through pumping or another process

How to install a pile foundation?

While making a foundation of a building, the first basic thing that has to be done on the surface is piling. With the help of a pile driver, the piles are vertically hammer into the ground for this structure-making. The process involve in pile footing is that the machine lifts a large weight and drops it on top of the pile. These repeats blows of undergrounding the pile are going on until the withholding process is reach of not taking it any further.

Installation of piles has a significant impact on the structural integrity of a building because it is the main foundation of the structure on which the building is standing. While footing a pile, one should keep in mind that the soil, which is the supporting system, should not be disturb. In this case, you can go for the option of a drive pile which is an ideal fit for this purpose. The distance between piles must be sufficient to ensure the even distribution of the loads. Each pile has an influence zone on the soil nearby. So, one must take care of pile footing.

Classification of piles footing and their uses

The pile footing classification has been create under the function, materials, and installation procedure. They are:

Based on performance:

  1. Loading bearing piles
  2. Sheet piles
  3. Soil compactor piles

Based on components and construction technique:

  1. Steel piles
  2. Timber piles
  3. Composite piles

Pile Footing

Uses of these piles

A.    Based on performance

  • Loading bearing piles

The primary purpose of this kind of pile footing foundation is to transfer vertical loads from the structure to the ground.

  • Sheet piles

It provides lateral support like water flow or loose soil. It supports the structure vertically. It is typically employe for shore protection, trench sheeting, and cofferdams.

  • Soil compactor piles

It does support direct loads. These piles are drive to compact the soil and increase its bearing capacity.

B.    Based on components and construction technique

  • Steel piles

Steel piles can be created of hollow pipes or I-sections. They are concrete-fill. The piles are simple to drive because of their tiny sectional area. The primary function of this pile footing is as end-bearing piles.

  • Timber piles

The sorts of pile foundations that are bury beneath the water table are timber piles. They have a 30-year lifespan, roughly.

  • Composite piles

Two different materials are there in compost piles. They are stack on top of each other so they can perform the same function as a single pile.


Pile footings are quite advantageous and are utilize in numerous ways. Foundation engineers are highly fond of using piles in civil engineering projects.

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