Vinyl Sheet Piling: Marine Construction Uses & Installation Methods

Photo by Robin Spielmann on Unsplash

Vinyl sheet piling is increasingly becoming one of the most common materials used by marine construction companies and contractors, whether they’re working on a bulkhead, a seawall, or another variety of project. From their anti-corrosion qualities to their proven ability to withstand the natural elements of sand, sea, and wind, it’s easy to see why vinyl sheet piling is rapidly replacing traditional marine construction materials such as wood and certain metals.

In this blog, we’ll highlight the general information you need to know about vinyl sheet piling installation, and how it’s used in certain areas of construction and types of projects by marine contractors.

For more information about vinyl sheet piling, explore further facts in this infographic.

What Is Vinyl Sheet Piling?

Like many modern products used in manufacturing, vinyl sheet piling is made of a plastic compound called PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is also technically known as a synthetic polymer. Vinyl sheet piling is especially useful in marine environments, since seawalls and similar structural features require materials that offer flexibility as well as tensile strength (resistance to breaking and bending). In the case of vinyl sheet piling, because they are made of PVC, they’re perfect for certain types of projects and builds in marine construction, which we’ll address in the next section.

What Marine Construction Projects Use Vinyl Sheet Piling?

The most common use of any sheet piling material, including vinyl, is for constructing retaining walls in marinas and coastal environments. Retaining walls of this sort use varying numbers of vinyl sheet piles, which have edges designed to be interconnected. The required number of vinyl sheet piles are interlocked and layered so that the final product is sturdily structured into a single unit, which may then be installed either vertically or horizontally, depending on the project needs. Vinyl sheet piling is also used in bulkheads and larger seawalls, although these types of structures may need to be reinforced with sturdier materials to ensure their long-term functionality.

The important thing to remember is that vinyl sheet piling can be used in a variety of marine construction projects because of its dynamic design. It bends enough to accommodate the ebb and flow of the sea, while still remaining rigid enough to hold back unwanted overflow of water, sand, and other earth sediments. In other words, a retaining wall that uses vinyl sheet piles as its material base is valuable to contractors and their clients since it is more likely to be able to adapt to the fluctuations and forces of a coastal location.

Want to learn more about vinyl sheet piling? Dig deeper — check out the infographic!

How Is Vinyl Sheet Piling Installed?

Vinyl sheet piling can be installed in many different ways depending upon the needs of the construction project and environment in which it is being used. Marine construction projects primarily use one of three methods of installation: hammering, jetting, and digging.

  • Hammering method: vinyl sheet piles are driven into ground with vibratory hammer mechanics; tighter, more compact soils may require an impact hammer
  • Jetting method: high-pressure streams of air or water are injected into compacted soils to loosen sediment before placing vinyl sheet piles; alternative to hammering method
  • Digging method: ideally suited for shallow piling installation in softer soil areas; vinyl sheet piles do not usually need to be embedded deeply

Use Vinyl Sheet Piling To Enhance Your Marina With Yelton Construction!

Are you a homeowner or business owner in St. Augustine seeking a cost-effective building material for a retaining wall, boathouse, or seawall? Contact Yelton Construction for a consultation with one of our specialized marine contractors! Thank you for reading!