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Foundation Frontier: Auger Cast Piles and Driven Piles Compared to Helical Piers (Piles)

Bridge Média - 30 August 2023

Auger Cast Piles, Driven Piles, and Helical Piers Explored

When it comes to building a strong and reliable foundation, the choice of pile type plays a pivotal role. 

Auger cast piles, driven piles, and helical piers are three popular options in the construction industry, each with its unique characteristics and benefits

This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of foundation support, examining the characteristics, installation techniques, and benefits of three notable types of piles. Additionally, we will compare these pile types to helical piers, which are widely regarded as our preferred option and are also referred to as helical piles.

So, grab your hard hat and let's dig in!

Auger cast piles installation with machine

Introduction to Auger Cast Piles

Auger cast piles, commonly referred to as continuous flight auger (CFA) piles, are a prevalent method in deep foundation construction. The process involves drilling a hollow stem continuous flight auger into the soil until the desired depth is reached. As the auger is gradually pulled out, concrete or grout is channeled through the hollow stem, ensuring a consistent pressure, to occupy the cylindrical space carved out by the auger. In essence, the void drilled by the auger is filled with concrete.

Exploring the Contrast: Auger Cast Piles vs. Helical Piers

While auger cast piles have their merits, helical piles present a superior alternative for many applications. Helical piles consist of steel shafts with helical plates attached, which are screwed into the ground with minimal disturbance to the soil. This installation method allows for precise placement and easy load adjustment. Helical piles offer advantages such as reduced environmental impact, faster installation, and the ability to bear higher loads. Furthermore, their design can be customized to suit specific soil conditions, making them a more versatile and efficient choice for deep foundation projects.

Driven piles installation with machine

Introduction to Driven Piles

Driven piles are a commonly used deep foundation solution in construction. These piles are installed by driving precast concrete or steel piles into the ground using a pile driver. While driven piles have proven their effectiveness over the years, helical piles offer distinct advantages that make them a better choice in many scenarios. 

Exploring the Contrast: Driven Piles vs. Helical Piers

Unlike driven piles, which require heavy machinery and can cause significant noise and vibration during installation, helical piles are easily installed using hydraulic machinery with reduced noise and vibration. 

Helical piles also provide better load-bearing capacity, as their helical plates are designed to maximize soil resistance and increase stability. 

Additionally, the versatility of helical piles allows for precise customization to suit different soil conditions, making them an ideal choice for a wide range of projects. 

  • With faster installation, minimal disruption to the site, and superior load-bearing capabilities, helical piles emerge as the preferred option for reliable and efficient deep foundation support.
Helical piers installation with small machine

Introduction to Helical Piers (Piles): Revolutionizing Foundation Support

Helical piers, also known as helical piles or screw piles, are an innovative foundation support system that has gained popularity in recent years. 

These piles feature helical-shaped plates or blades welded to a central shaft, enabling them to be screwed into the ground. 

When it comes to choosing a foundation support system, helical piers offer a plethora of benefits that make them an outstanding choice

Let's explore the remarkable advantages provided by helical piers/piles, making them the ultimate foundation solution for a wide range of construction projects:

  • Rapid Installation: Screw piles offer a swift installation process, saving valuable time and reducing construction schedules. With their screwing mechanism, they can be efficiently and quickly installed, ensuring a streamlined construction process.
  • Minimal Impact to the Landscape: One of the standout features of helical piles is their minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. Since no excavation is required, the natural aesthetics and integrity of the site remain intact. This advantage is particularly beneficial for preserving the beauty of the environment, such as in environmentally sensitive areas or landscapes of high ecological value.
  • No Excavation: Helical piles eliminate the need for extensive excavation work. The screwing mechanism allows them to be driven into the ground, avoiding disruptive and costly excavation processes. This not only saves time and resources but also reduces the potential risks associated with excavation, such as soil disturbance and site contamination.
  • Immediate Construction Commencement: Once helical (screw) piles are installed, construction can commence immediately. There is no waiting time for concrete curing, enabling construction progress without delays. This advantage significantly speeds up the overall project timeline.
  • Perfectly Level Structure: Helical piers provide exceptional stability and ensure a perfectly level structure. Their precise installation process guarantees that the foundation remains stable and level, contributing to the structural integrity of the entire building.
  • Ideal for Restricted Spaces: In projects with limited space, helical piles shine as an ideal foundation solution. Their compact design allows for installation in tight spaces, enabling construction in areas where traditional foundation systems may not be feasible.
  • Year-Round Installation: Screw piles offer the advantage of year-round installation. Regardless of the weather conditions, they can be installed, eliminating seasonal limitations and allowing construction projects to proceed without interruption.
  • Removable and Reusable: Helical piers/piles are also removable and reusable. This advantage provides flexibility for future modifications or relocations, making them a cost-effective and sustainable choice.
  • Low Environmental Footprint: With their minimal disturbance to the landscape, reduced excavation requirements, and reusable nature, helical piers boast a low environmental footprint. They contribute to sustainable construction practices by minimizing soil disruption, reducing waste, and preserving the natural surroundings.
  • Suitable in All Soil Conditions: Helical piers (piles) excel in various soil conditions, offering stability and load-bearing capacity in challenging environments. Whether it's soft soils, expansive soils, or high water tables, helical piers/piles can adapt and provide reliable foundation support.
  • No Concrete Required: Unlike other foundation systems, helical piles eliminate the need for concrete. This advantage simplifies the construction process and reduces material and labor costs associated with concrete mixing and pouring.
  • 30-Year Product Warranty: At GoliathTech, helical piers (piles) come with a generous 30-year product warranty, providing peace of mind and assurance of their long-term performance and durability.

Helical Piers (Piles): The Clear Winner in Foundation Support

In the realm of foundation support, helical piers rise above the competition, offering unmatched advantages for construction projects. 

With their versatility in challenging soil conditions, rapid installation, minimal disturbance, and immediate load transfer capabilities, helical (screw) piles provide a robust foundation solution that meets the demands of various construction scenarios

However, it is essential to assess individual project requirements and consult with engineering professionals to ensure the most suitable foundation choice is made

About GoliathTech

Since 2004, GoliathTech has been the most important manufacturer and installer in the helical (screw) pile industry worldwide. Our patented helical pile foundation system surpasses industry standards and has earned us multiple awards and prizes.

Carried out by certified installers, our quick installation process avoids excavation, which protects your landscape and allows you to begin building as soon as the piles are in the ground. Moreover, you can anchor GoliathTech’s helical pile foundations into any soil or space year-round. Installed deep into the ground, beneath the frost line, they solidly support the structure in even the most extreme conditions. Our technology guarantees that a helical (screw) pile foundation won't move or crack over time.

Integrating both strength and know-how, GoliathTech offers the best anchoring solution to support your residential, industrial, commercial, and municipal projects. Trust the experience and expertise of GoliathTech for your foundation projects. Find a certified GoliathTech installer in your region or become a franchisee.