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What are Helical Piles?

August 21st, 2015 by

Helical piles install into soils much the same way screws install into wood. The purpose of any pile is to transfer structure loads to a depth below grade where soil moisture content is stable and the soil strata is suitable for load bearing. Helical piles are unique because of their installation method. As the piles are installed, the torque required for advancement is monitored and recorded. Decades of empirical testing has documented that there is a correlation between the installation torque and the piles’ capacity. Once the structure’s loads have been determined, we can mathematically determine the minimum installation torque energy required to achieve pile capacities to support the structure including a factor of safety. In some cases, usually larger commercial projects, the design engineer may require physical load testing of a percentage of the piles to be installed. VersaGrade owns pile test frames, hydraulic testing equipment and measuring instrumentation to perform both compression and tension testing. Helical piles can be used in tension or compression, and are used for approximately 75% of foundation repairs.