Overlap Sheet Pile

Overlap Sheet Pile: A Comprehensive Study


Sheet piling is a construction technique used to support soil and water retention structures. It involves driving interlocking sheets of material, such as steel, into the ground to form a continuous barrier. Overlap sheet piling is a specific type of sheet piling where the sheets are overlapped rather than interlocked. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of overlap sheet pile, covering its history, materials, design considerations, installation techniques, applications, advantages, and limitations.

History of Sheet Piling

Sheet piling has been used for centuries to provide structural support for waterfronts, foundations, and other civil engineering projects. The earliest forms of sheet piling were made from wood, but as technology advanced, materials like steel and concrete became more common. The development of interlocking sheet piles in the early 20th century revolutionized the industry, offering greater strength and durability. Overlap sheet piling emerged as an alternative to interlocking systems, providing unique benefits in specific applications.

Overlap Trench Sheet or trench sheet piles have another name as Overlap Sesctions. It has been widely used in road construction projects.
Product Production Range:
Customized designs are also available and welcomed in our company.
Material: Q235B, Q345B, S235, S240, SY295, S355, S430, S460, A690, ASTM A572 Grade 50, ASTM A572 Grade 60. All Chinese Standard, EN Standard, ASTM Standard and other standard material are available on request.
Manufacturing & Inspection Standard: EN10249-1 / EN10249-2

Lapped trench sheets(M6,M8,M12,Multisheet 500/4,Multisheet 500/6,HY6,Shorco 500/6)

Section Dimensions Mass Per meter of wall
Width Height Thickness Single
Wall Section
e h t W I
mm mm mm Kg/m kg/m2 cm3/m KNm/m
M6 394 38 3.55 12.5 31.2 46.6 7.9
M8 585 50 6 31.79 54.29 93 21.8
M12 550 87.5 6 31.79 57.8 182 42.7
Multisheet 500/4 480 75 4 21.1 44 125.8 40
Multisheet 500/6 480 75 6 31.6 65.8 178.2 66
HY6 520 69.4 6 33.7 64.8 160 63.2
Shorco 500/6 500 52 6 28.5 57 97 22.3

Materials Used in Overlap Sheet Pile


Steel is the most common material used in overlap sheet piling due to its high strength, durability, and ability to withstand significant loads. Steel sheet piles can be hot-rolled or cold-formed. Hot-rolled sheets are produced at high temperatures and offer superior structural integrity, while cold-formed sheets are shaped at room temperature and are more cost-effective.


Concrete sheet piles are used in situations where corrosion resistance is critical. They are typically pre-cast and reinforced with steel rebar. Concrete piles are heavier and more challenging to install than steel piles but offer excellent durability and resistance to environmental degradation.


Vinyl sheet piles are used in less demanding applications where corrosion resistance and ease of installation are prioritized. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and resistant to chemical and biological degradation, making them suitable for marine and waterfront applications.

Composite Materials

Composite sheet piles combine materials like fiberglass and resin to offer a balance of strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. These materials are used in specialized applications where traditional materials may not perform well.

Design Considerations

Load Bearing Capacity

The primary function of sheet piles is to support loads from soil and water. The design must account for the maximum load the pile will bear, including static and dynamic forces. Engineers use soil mechanics principles and structural analysis to determine the appropriate sheet pile size and material.

Soil Conditions

Soil type and condition significantly impact the design and installation of sheet piles. Cohesive soils, such as clay, provide better support for sheet piles than non-cohesive soils, like sand. Engineers conduct soil tests to determine the soil’s bearing capacity, friction angle, and other properties that influence the sheet pile design.

Water Table

The presence of groundwater affects the design and installation of sheet piles. High water tables can increase the hydrostatic pressure on the piles, requiring more robust materials and designs. Engineers must also consider the potential for water seepage and the need for dewatering during installation.

Environmental Factors

Environmental considerations include the potential for corrosion, chemical exposure, and biological degradation. Materials like steel may require protective coatings or galvanization to prevent corrosion, while concrete and composite materials may be selected for their inherent resistance to environmental factors.

Installation Techniques

Driving Methods

  • Impact Driving: Uses a pile driver to hammer the sheet piles into the ground. This method is effective for driving piles through hard or dense soils.
  • Vibratory Driving: Uses a vibrating head to shake the piles into the ground. This method is less noisy and can be faster than impact driving, but it may not be suitable for all soil types.
  • Press-in Method: Uses hydraulic jacks to press the piles into the ground. This method is quiet and causes minimal ground disturbance, making it suitable for urban areas.

Overlapping Technique

In overlap sheet piling, the sheets are placed adjacent to each other with a small overlap, typically 50-100 mm. This overlap ensures a continuous wall without the need for interlocking joints. The overlapping technique requires precise alignment and handling to ensure the sheets are properly positioned and secured.

Joint Sealing

To prevent water seepage and ensure structural integrity, the joints between overlapping sheets must be sealed. Sealants, such as bitumen or rubber strips, are applied to the overlap area before driving the sheets into the ground. This sealing process is critical in water-retaining structures and areas with high groundwater levels.

Applications of Overlap Sheet Pile

Waterfront Structures

Overlap sheet piles are commonly used in waterfront structures, such as seawalls, bulkheads, and retaining walls, to protect against erosion and provide structural support. The corrosion resistance of materials like concrete and vinyl makes them ideal for these applications.

Foundation Support

In construction projects, overlap sheet piles provide temporary or permanent support for excavations and foundations. They prevent soil movement and water infiltration, ensuring a stable work environment and protecting adjacent structures.