We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Sheet Piling?

M. McGee
By M. McGee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A sheet piling is both a form of retaining wall and the sheets used to make the wall. These sheets are commonly made of metal but may also be vinyl or wood. The sheets are driven into the ground and locked together to form a tight physical barrier to water, insects and plant life. These types of retaining walls are common in areas with loose sand and soil, as they are relatively easy to place and maintain. Small walls are generally two parts below ground and one part above, but larger walls may have a larger underground area or additional supports.

The material used to make a sheet piling varies based on the desired use of the wall. The most common and general purpose material is metal, but certain plastics and wood have uses in specific circumstances. The metal used to make sheet pilings is almost always galvanized steel. This metal has undergone a process to make it more resistant to environmental dangers, such as impacts and moisture.

There are a variety of common sheet piling shapes. Many of the basic styles have alternating high and low flat surfaces connected by sloped sides; much like the corrugation inside cardboard. This shape both improves the metal’s structural stability and makes it easier to stack for storage or transport. With this design, there is typically a break in the middle of the high or low flat spot.

These breaks are what make the sheet pilings so effective. The edge of each piece is specially designed to connect to the edge of the piece next to it. This allows the wall to be of any size or shape as well as follow the contours of the land. By making the break in an open area, rather than a corner or intersection, pieces of different design can work together to make up the larger wall.

Sheet piling retaining walls are used in many different types of construction. In some areas, they are placed underground a small distance away from the foundation of a structure. This helps prevent water from reaching the building’s true foundation. Even so, their most common use is as retaining walls in loose terrain. Since the walls are so thin, it is easy to push them down into the loose ground, and their interlocking plates allow them to work around underground obstructions, such as rocks or utility lines.

In order to maintain stability and keep its shape, a sheet piling needs twice as much underground as above ground. In particularly loose areas, or with larger walls, other measures are sometimes taken. Diagonal supports are the easiest additional support method and are placed on the low side of the wall. In addition, anchor lines are sometime connected to the wall and run diagonally up through the retained material and anchor on the surface.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.