Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Hot-rolled and cold-formed steel sheet piles may differ in some characteristics as finish products but both proven their worth against the test of time and circumstances. Both products have been serving the construction industry for very long time.
Hot-rolled sheet piles were available over a century ago as flat profiles before evolving to U-shape then the Z-shape that we are familiar of. Cold-formed sheet piles were introduced in the 1970s - that is about 50 years in service, a more than valid reason not to doubt its integrity and design. In addition, hot-rolled and cold-formed sheet piles have identical physical and mechanical properties and are both highly recyclable.
What makes them different of course is the process they are manufactured. Hot-rolled steel sheet piles are produced by heating solid steel or pre-rolled steel at temperatures of over 1,200⁰C and shaping them into desired profiles without delay. Cold-rolled steel sheet piles also employs heating to form steel coils but are later left to cool and fed through mills that forms them into sections.
Although both products are believed to be instrumental in delivering successful projects, gathered data has defined the clear advantage of each as follows:
Hot-rolled Steel Sheet Pile:
Interlocks are more durable, allowing multiple driving and pulling-out before it wears. Larssen interlock appears to be the tightest.
The interlocks are designed to be thicker and proven tighter than that of cold-rolled sheet pile. This makes them suitable for pile driving in tough ground conditions such as hard soil strata.
Because of tight fit of interlocks, hot-rolled sheet pile wall has better performance against water seepage.
It comes out that the major, if not the sole advantage, of hot-rolled sheet pile is its interlock.
Cold-formed sheet piles can be cheaper due to its economical yet efficient production process and lower labor cost. They are lighter than hot-rolled profiles making them cheaper and easier to transport.
Because of looser interlocks, they are favored by some users and for temporary use because of easy retrieval.
Cold-rolled sheet piles are more readily available. Worldwide, millers producing cold-formed sheet piles greatly outnumber millers producing hot-rolled sheet piles. This gives customers shorter lead time and faster material delivery due to closer proximity of sources.
While most millers produce hot-rolled steel sheet piles in lengths up to 60ft, cold-formed series provides wide range of sizes and sections that allows customers to find the closest, if not the exact, sheet pile unit that satisfies their design requirement. Cold-formed steel sheet piles can be produced to any specific length up to over 100ft.
Cold-formed interlocks permits up to 25 degrees. This flexibility in alignment gives cold-formed sheet piles the advantage when repositioning is necessary say because of underlying obstruction.
ESC Group has one of the widest ranges of steel sheet piles: with over 15 series' and over 400 profiles in hot rolled sheet piles, cold rolled sheet piles and cold formed sheet piles in various steel grades and production standards.
ESC sheet piles have withstood the test of time all around the world with over 25 years of experience at all continents including Antarctica. These factors combined with a strong commitment to delivery timelines and repeated customer satisfaction, makes ESC the preferred supplier for Sheet Piles globally. Applications include port and harbor structures, river revetments, retaining walls, cutoff walls, slope protection and cofferdams.