Steel sheet piles may conveniently be used in several civil engineering works. They may be used as:

1. Cantilever sheet piles
2. Anchored bulkheads
3. Braced sheeting in cuts
4. Single cell cofferdams
5. Cellular cofferdams, circular type
6. Cellular cofferdams (diaphragm)

Anchored bulkheads Fig. 20.4 (b) serve the same purpose as retaining walls. However, in contrast to retaining walls whose weight always represent an appreciable fraction of the weight of the sliding wedge, bulkheads consist of a single row of relatively light sheet piles of which the lower ends are driven into the earth and the upper ends are anchored by tie or anchor rods. The anchor rods are held in place by anchors which are buried in the backfill at a considerable distance from the bulkhead.

Anchored bulkheads are widely used for dock and harbor structures. This construction provides a vertical wall so that ships may tie up alongside, or to serve as a pier structure, which may jet out into the water. In these cases sheeting may be required to laterally support a fill on which railway lines, roads or warehouses may be constructed so that ship cargoes may be transferred to other areas. The use of an anchor rod tends to reduce the lateral deflection, the bending moment, and the depth of the penetration of the pile.

Cantilever sheet piles depend for their stability on an adequate embedment into the soil below the dredge line. Since the piles are fixed only at the bottom and are free at the top, they are called cantilever sheet piles. These piles are economical only for moderate wall heights, since the required section modulus increases rapidly with an increase in wall height, as the bending moment increases with the cube of the cantilevered height of the wall. The lateral deflection of this type of wall, because
of the cantilever action, will be relatively large. Erosion and scour in front of the wall, i.e., lowering
the dredge line, should be controlled since stability of the wall depends primarily on the developed passive pressure in front of the wall.

Figure 20.4 Use of sheet piles (b) Anchored bulk head

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