What are Micropiles?

Micropiles (also referred to as Mini-Piles) are deep foundation systems, small diameter grouted piles typically consisting of a central steel reinforcement member. They commonly include steel casing. They can be designed to carry very high capacity loads.

Loads are typically achieved through skin friction between the grout and surrounding soil or rock. In limited situations, loads can be completed in end-bearing, where the piles are terminated in competent rock formations.

Unlike a drilled shaft pier, Micropiles derive a large percentage of their load from the steel reinforcement. This, coupled with achieving their capacity in skin friction, makes them excellent for both tension and compression loads. Steel casing can also be added to address lateral loading requirements.

They are typically used in limited access areas, such as low overhead clearance, and can be accessed through a typical man door. Micropiles are a cost-effective solution in areas with Karst topography and sloping rock.

With a typical drilled pier foundation, significant cost overruns can occur due to extra rock coring. This is because drilled piers are extended along the face of sloping rock or when voids are encountered in the rock formation near the design bearing elevation of the drilled piers and extra rock coring is required. Micropiles reduce this risk, as they typically extend down into the rock formation, so the load is transferred in skin friction. This also allows potential voids in the rock to be identified.

Micropile System Applications

These Mini-Piles can be used in a variety of applications. They are particularly useful when projects are launched in areas with limited access or weak soil. This system has become a preferred method of deep foundation stabilization for its reliability, versatility, and efficiency.

Intech Anchoring supports these products with our design expertise and fleet of rental equipment as needed. Before you can decide if they are the best option for your project, it’s vital to understand their applications.

For an overview of their components and practical uses, review this brief guide:

  • Deep Foundation Projects:

This is a convenient option for establishing a deep foundation because they do not require pre-drilling. Building a deep foundation is necessary for job sites of high capacity loads, on-site barriers, or poor soil.

  • Foundation Rehabilitation and Repairs:

When existing foundations are compromised, their use helps fortify the foundation’s stability. The structural load is transferred to the Micropiles to a more suitable and stable soil layer. This is a cost-efficient option in comparison to foundation replacement.

  • Foundation Stabilization of Adjacent Structures:

Micropiles can be used for projects with nearby structures or limited access.  Since Micropile installation equipment is smaller and less intrusive and is a great option for structures sharing adjacent walls that may interfere with accessibility of your project.

Micropile Jobs and Considerations

These systems can be used on a variety of projects, including the fortification or creation of foundations for bridges, towers, and new buildings. Their versatility has led to their increased popularity and their use in complicated and challenging construction conditions. When faced with areas of low clearance, restricted access, or collapsing soil types, Micropiles are an ideal solution.

When compared to other foundation products, Micropiles are customizable and cost efficient and they eliminate the need for additional steps during installation. Because Micropile installation can be completed without pre-drilling, project completion time stays on track.

Unlike other foundation options, Micropiles are budget friendly and built to last. Their ability to be quickly installed reduces the overall cost. Additional hours are not needed to complete installation, and this reduces labor  expenses.

Micropiles offer the following features and capabilities:

  • Help control corrosion caused by soil

  • Provide consistent results in a variety of applications

  • Installed quickly

  • High load capacity when compared to other options

  • Pre-drilling not a required step for Micropile installation

All of Intech’s Micropile options are cost efficient, quick to install, and usable in limited access or low-headroom areas. For help in determining the type of Micropile that is best for your unique project, contact Intech Anchoring today.