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Terms used and their definition

You will find on this page some precisions about the technical and industrial terms used in our website and communications.

  • ASD Loads: Based on Allowable Stress Design. They can be Design/Working or Ultimate. Structural Elements proportioning/sizing is based on component Allowable Stress
  • ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials. The standard for testing thousands of products, materials, processes, and test methods. It assures all aspects of all Helical piles are compared fairly and uniformly
  • Batter Pile: A helical pile installed at a specific angle in the soil. They are generally used in conjunction and connected to other batter piles or vertical piles to increase lateral capacity of the pile group
  • Compression: A force or load being applied down on a pile are compression loads 
  • Corrosion: The process of “eroding” the metal of the helical pile. A moist or acidic soil is more corrosive than a dryer, more neutral soil
  • Deep Foundation: Any foundation that is installed deep in the soil is considered a deep foundation
  • Down drag: A downward force on the helical pile that can be due to soil weight/changing soil conditions
  • Extension: In weaker/softer soil conditions there will often be the need to install extensions onto the lead section of a pile to reach greater depths
  • Factor of safety: A margin of safety in the pile’s capacity calculations
  • Foot pounds: the universal measurement of rotational resistance. Ultimately, how the capacity of a Helical Pile is measured
  • Foundation: the under-structure/supporting structure of any project
  • Full Scale Load Test: An on-site load test, following ASTM test methods or test methods stipulated by the project/on-site engineer.
  • Helix: the load bearing plate or disc, welded to the pile shaft. A pile can have different sizes or multiple helices, depending on soil conditions
  • Helical Pile (Helical Pile, Helical Anchor, Ground Screw, Screw Pile, Helical Pier): A large screw installed in the ground with calibrated installation equipment, showing the pile resistance during installation. From that measured resistance, the compression and tension capacity of that pile can be calculated.
  • Hot Dip Galvanizing: to combat corrosion in the soil, the steel pile is “dipped” into molten Zinc during production to give the bare metal a protective layer
  • ICC-ES: International Code Council Evaluation Services is a non-profit, public-benefit corporation that does technical evaluations of building products, components, method, and materials. 
  • KIP(S): Kilo-pounds (1000 pounds) 50KIPS=50,000lbs. Loads are often given in KIPS
  • Lateral Load: A force or load pushing or pulling from side to side (perpendicular) to the helical pile.
  • Lead section: The first section of the helical pile. There will always be a Helix/Helices on the lead section.
  • Load Frame/Test Rack: The apparatus used to physically load test the piles on-site
  • LRFD: based on Load and Factor Resistance Design. They can be Nominal or Factored. Structural Elements proportioning/sizing is based on component reduced Resistance/Strength
  • Lifting Bracket/Underpinning Bracket: The bracket used with the Helical Pile to lift/stabilize existing foundations
  • Moment (Overturning Moment): Generally refers to the overturning of the shaft due to forces such as wind
  • Mooring: When a helical pile is installed beneath the water and used to anchor a dock or vessel using a connected chain or rope
  • Pile Cap: Often referred to as the Head, is the connection point of the pile to structure
  • Pile: A generic term for any type of deep foundation. We generally use “pile” to refer to Helical Piles specially.
  • Powder Coating: The process of coating the steel of a Helical Pile with a very resistant “paint like” coating
  • Refusal: The Helical Pile cannot be installed any deeper, no forward advancement.
  • Resistance Bar/Torque Arm: Used with the handheld installation setup to brace against an object to combat rotational forces
  • Shear: The transverse load acting on the pile  
  • Soil Nail: Term used when Helical Piles are used to stabilize soils from sliding on a slope.
  • SPT: Standard Penetration Test, a very common test for the composition/density of soil
  • Tension Load: The Tensile load or Pullout capacity of the Pile. If a Helical Pile has a tension capacity of 5000lbs, it requires the same amount of force to pull that pile out of the ground as it does to lift a 5000lbs weight. 
  • Torque: The measure of the rotational force it takes to install the Helical Pile into the ground.
  • Zero Movement: The given pile and/or the piles accessories will not move more than the defined project specific tolerances.