Helical piles are a factory-manufactured steel foundation system consisting of a central shaft with one or more helix-shaped bearing plates and a bracket that allows attachment to a structure. The helix plates are commonly referred to as blades or flights and are welded to the lead section.
Extension shafts, with or without additional helix plates, are used to extend the pile to competent load bearing soil and to achieve design depth and capacity. Brackets are used at the tops of the piles for attachment to structures, either for new construction or retrofit applications. Helical piles are advanced (screwed) into the ground with the application of torque.
Did You Know?
The use of helical piles and anchors in construction dates back nearly 200 years. In the 1830's, the earliest versions of today's helical piles were used in England for moorings and for the foundations of lighthouse structures.
Today, helical piles are used in both tension and compression load applications and are gaining worldwide acceptance throughout the construction industry and engineering community due to the versatility of both the product and the installation equipment. In 2007, the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) approved AC358, Acceptance Criteria for Helical Foundation Systems and Devices. Helical piles are also now included in sections of the 2009 International Building Code.