Micro (Mini) Piles

Micropiles are small diameter piles that can be installed in almost any type of ground where piles are required, with design loads as small as three tons and as high as 500+ tons. Also known as minipiles, pin piles, needle piles or root piles, micropiles can offer a viable alternative to conventional piling techniques, particularly in restricted access or low headroom situations.

Important Terms

Structural Connections:The various connection details that attach micropiles to structures.

Soil/Rock Load Transfer Mechanism: The various means by which the load is transferred from the pile shaft to the soil or rock bearing strata.

Design Load: The working load of the pile. Test piles are usually tested to two times the static design load.

Types of Micropiles
Pushed or Driven
Compaction Grouted
Jet Grouted
Post Grouted
Pressure Grouted
Drilled, End Bearing

Micropile Applications
Supporting New Loads in Congested Areas
Seismic Retrofit
Arresting Structural Settlement
Resisting Uplift/Dynamic Loads
Excavation Support in Confined Areas
Reticulated Pile Wall

Important Micropile Parameters
Soil characteristics at pile shaft/soil interface
Rock at pile tip

Micropile Design Steps
1. Geotechnical study
2. Determine load to be supported
3. Design pile-to-structure connection
4. Design pile-to-soil or rock load transfer
5. Develop a pile testing program

Typical Micropile Programs Involve
Drilling holes, 2 inch to 12 inch diameter
The construction of a pile shaft consisting of structural steel pipes, grout, steel sections and/or placement of reinforcing steel, as required by design
The filling of the hole with high-strength cement grout

Micropile Quality Assurance/Quality Control
Test selected piles to two times the static design load using standard ASTMD113 pile load test criteria

Benefits of Micropiles
Design loads from 3 to 500+ tons
Can be readily designed for tension/uplift loads
Appropriate for a wide range of ground conditions
Suitable for low headroom and restricted access
Low noise and vibration
Can penetrate obstacles

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