Micropiling / Underpinning

Micropiles are introduced as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional pile foundations. Micropiles possess the capability to withstand heavy loads and can be installed with compact and sophisticated machinery using cutting edge technology. The main advantage of a micropile is its ability to work in very congested and low height areas and on any soil surface irrespective of its type. Micropiles are best suited for piling, retrofitting & underpinning works, slope protection, soil stabilisation, etc. Another important feature of micropile is their ability to work with minimum disturbance to the existing structures and people around the area. Micro piles provide a very reliable and cost-effective alternate which is becoming an inevitable part of urbanisation.

Micropiles are bored /drilled cast in place friction piles whose diameter ranges from 50 mm to 300 mm. The drilled / bored holes are grouted with cement after placing the reinforcement bars. Micropiles can withstand axial loads, lateral loads, or both and can negotiate loads ranging between 3T to 300T and more. Micro piles are also known as mini piles, pin piles, root piles, etc based on their applications. The micropiles can penetrate any obstructions that can sometimes cause premature refusal while installing using conventional piling methods.

A Micropiling is a small diameter pile which is used in various applications within ground engineering. Underpinning is the method of strengthening the foundation of an existing building or other structure in confined or low-overhead spaces, difficult to access jobsites, basements and small tunnels. 
We can use different types of micropule to perform, including driven micropile, compaction micropile, jet grout micropile, post grouted micropile, pressure grouted micropile, drilled end bearning micropile and hollow bar micropile. 

On the other hand, the self drilling anchor/hollow bar micropile machine is easily accessible in low-overhead spaces because the height of this machine is about 2.4 meters. We are the experienced micropile contractor in Malaysia that has low access and powerful micropiling machine to do the job!

The reinforcement used in micropiles are divided into four categories
a) Standard rebar cage with centraliser
b) API pipe system
c) Solid threaded rebars with or with out pipe casing
d) Hollow bar or Drill hollow bar system

The rebar cage is the same as the cage used in conventional piling. Threaded couplers are used to join the bars together with staggered joints. A centraliser (as per fig) is used for positioning the rebar cage inside the bore.

API pipes (American petroleum Institute pipes ) are high-grade pipes having a diameter of 5 inches to 11 inches. These pipes are joined using high strength machined flush type joint threads. Both inside and outside of the API pipes shall be grouted with or without placing rebar. Centrally reinforcing type of solid threaded or standard rebar type (ref fig) can be used as rebar. API PIPE SYSTEMS are recommended for compression piles to maintain their lateral stability.

Threaded solid rebar can be used alongside permanent/temporary casings and with API pipe as central reinforcements. Solid threaded rebar constitutes a full threaded high strength bar that can be cut and jointed as per requirements. These bars not only functions to produce full tension and compression capacity but also enhances much-needed bonding with the grout.

The hollow threaded rebar system is also known as a self-drilling hollow bar system. In this system, the hollow bar can function as a sacrificial drill bit which gets converted to a central reinforcement and can also be used to flush out the debris. This system can eliminate predrilling, frequent removal of pipes and drills, etc and can handle any condition relating to the installation of micropiles. On completing the final stage of drilling, the cement mortar is injected into the hollow core of the drill bit by an injection adaptor (ref fig) mounted with the drilling unit. The grout flushing simultaneously serves in stabilising the borehole and filling the area.

The installation process of micro piles involves drilling or driving a bore through soils, rocks, overburden, etc. The most common methods adopted for drilling are: Percussive Drilling used with a driving point/drill at the bottom of the permanent casing is defined as displacement method whereas when air is used as a flushing medium it is defined as a non-displacement method. Rotary drilling uses air or water as a flushing medium for removing the drilled materials from the drill hole. The air jet or water pumped through the drilling system exit at the drill bit end flushing out the cuttings.

GROUTING METHODS ADOPTED IN MICRO PILES Grouts used for micropiles constitute a mixture of cement and water. Sand can also be added as per design requirements to reduce the overall cost. The micro piles are divided into four types based on the method of grouting

Type A micropiles use tremie grouting and through gravity head. The grouting is started from the bottom and follows a similar tremie grouting procedure followed in conventional piles.

After performing the initial tremie grouting, a pressure grouting is followed simultaneously with the lifting of the casing from the bond zone. The second stage pressure grouting is done through a preinstalled tube. Second stage grouting serves in enhancing grout soil bonding. The grouting will be done up to the bearing stratum and can be extended to the full length of the pile if required.

In these types of piles, pressure grouting is followed by tremie grouting. On completion of pressure grouting, a global injection grouting is performed through a pre-installed sleeve port pipe. This grouting shall be done before the hardening of primary tremie grout.

This method is similar to Type C . In this method primary grout is done under pressure and after hardening secondary grout is done through installed sleeve ports. Packers are also provided for multiple injections.

a) Drilling shall be commenced using a rotary rig or Rotary percussive drilling machine with casing attached to the drill bit and simultaneously pushed with the drill bit.
b) On reaching the founding level the drill bit is removed with casing left in the borehole.
c) Place reinforcement with centraliser in the borehole and followed by tremie grout with cement water mix.
d) The tremie grouting will be followed by a pressure grouting through preinstalled grouting tubes with simultaneously lifting of the casing.
e)The casing lifting to be done up to the compressive soil level with adequate bearing to the hard strata.  Complete pressure grouting of the bearing stratum area.

a) Micropiles can be engaged in any challenging conditions involving soil and rock..
b) Micropiles can be customised and applied for difficult terrains and applications. The applications can either be in the form of new loads being added to an existing structure, for arresting structural settlement, for resisting uplift and dynamic loads, for seismic retrofits or works involving underpinning and slope stabilisation.
b) Micropiles are used for rehabilitation projects as well as new constructions in difficult and access constraint terrains and settlement prone locations. For rehabilitation works in congested and low headroom height basements, micropiles prove to be a preferred option.
c) Micropiles penetrate any surface and can be installed even through an existing foundation making it one of the best possible solutions for foundation rehabilitation and strengthening works.
d) Micro piles can be used for slope stabilisation, embankment stabilisation, and other soil improvement and ground improvement works.
e)Micro piles can be used in areas where water table is high, urban back fills, areas having floating boulders or other difficult terrains that can’t even be accessed with a conventional pile.
f) Used extensively in the rehabilitation of monuments, old structures, sinking structures etc in all parts of the world. Conclusion Micropiles are emerging as a perfect cost-effective option without any alternatives. Because of its design flexibility and wide range of applications micropiles are gradually entering into urban destiny.

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Sarikei • Sebauh • Sebuyau • Selangau • Sematan • Serian • Serikin • Sibu • Siburan • Simunjan • Song • Spaoh • Sri Aman • Sungai Tujuh • Tanjung Kidurong • Tanjung Manis • Tatau • Tebedu Sabah: Interior Division • Kudat Division • Sandakan Division • Tawau Division • West Coast Division Micropile Geoprofile Enginnering United Drillers LTY Geotechnics EBS Engineering and Construction Euromatec Holy Engineering Dextra Group Conceal Sdn Bhd Keller Malaysia Group Sanubari Cekal Jack-In Pile BBR Construction Systems G-Pile Sistem Geohan Foundtech Bauer Malaysia Cerucuk Malaysia Megacon Drilling Geodata Engineering Geofrontier Cinlepile Geostrength Engineering KL Geotechnics • Beaufort District • Beluran District • Keningau District • Kinabatangan District • Kota Belud District • Kota Kinabalu District • Kota Marudu District • Kuala Penyu District • Kudat District • Kunak District • Lahad Datu District • Nabawan District • Papar District • Penampang District • Putatan District • Pitas District • Ranau District • Sandakan District • Semporna District • Sipitang District • Tambunan District • Tawau District • Telupid District • Tenom District • Tongod District • Tuaran District • Beaufort • Beluran • Keningau • Kinabatangan • Kota Belud • Kota Marudu • Kuala Penyu • Kudat • Kunak • Lahad Datu • Nabawan • Papar • Pitas • Putatan • Ranau • Sandakan (Municipality) • Semporna • Sipitang • Tambunan •What are Micropiles?
Micropiles, commonly referred to as “mini-piles,” are elements constructed using high-quality, durable, small-diameter steel casings or threaded bar. They’re most frequently used when installing a deep foundation. There are many reasons to use this pile type. Here are the most common reasons: To provide structural support To underpin your foundation To transfer loads To enhance mass stability This pile option will help you underpin your foundation, minimize foundation settlement, and are ideal when installing in areas with difficult soil makeup.

How Does the Micropile Installation Process Work? The first thing you need to do is dig a deep hole with a small diameter. Once you’ve cleared the space for the pile, you can lower that into the hole and apply torque to secure the pile. Then you fill the hole with a concrete grout mixture to keep everything in place. After you let the structure settle, you can apply a support system to the top of the pile. This will distribute weight evenly and guarantee good contact with the supported foundation.

What are the Benefits of Micropile?
​This pile opt
ion is one of the most practical and cost-effective solutions. It offers easy installation with its compact, lightweight nature, and is great for confined or remote areas like steep slopes, basements, overpasses, and even river pier foundations and wetlands. It also can be installed at various angles and is capable of resisting axial and lateral loads. This option is ideal for rocky areas because they can be secured within the rock, and actually draw load bearing capabilities from it. It’s also more easily installed in congested areas, and since it’s installed vertically, it can be used for tight spaces that machines can’t get to. It’s great for situations when you actually need to repair your foundation. But its main benefit is that it’s durable and cost-effective and take far less time to install than other pile options.Foundations provide support for structures, transferring their load to layers of soil or rock that have sufficient bearing capacity and suitable settlement characteristics. Very broadly, foundations can be categorised as shallow foundations or deep foundations. Pile foundations are deep foundations. They are formed by long, slender, columnar elements typically made from steel or reinforced concrete or sometimes timber. A foundation is described as piled when its depth is more than three times its breadth. Micropiles are piles that have a relatively small diameter, typically in the range of 100-250 mm. They can also be described as: Minipiles (generally mini piles are smaller than micro piles) Pin piles. Needle piles. Root piles. Lightweight piles. The size of the pile is determined by the load-bearing capacity of the ground and the size of rig that is able to access the piling location. They can be driven or screw piles and tend to be used where access is restricted, for example underpinning structures affected by settlement. They were first used in Italy in the 1950s in response to the demand for innovative underpinning techniques that could be used for historic buildings and monuments. They are particularly suited to: Shallow bedrock. Boulders and cavities. Immediate hard strata. Where underpinning is required, such as for foundations adjacent to planned excavations. Micropiles can also be used in combination with other ground modification techniques where complex site conditions and design specifications are present. In a typical installation process a high-strength steel casing is drilled down to the design depth. A reinforcing bar is inserted and high-strength cement grout pumped into the casing. The casing may extend along the full length of the pile, or it may only extend along part of the length of the pile, with the reinforcing bar extending along the full length. Drilling may be achieved by a removable bit, or by a sacrificial head to the steel casing. In some cases, the steel casing may be removed, or partially removed, and further grout pumped in at pressure. They can be installed in restricted access sites where there is low headroom by the use of lagging. This is where wood, steel or precast concrete panels are inserted behind the pile as the excavation proceeds so as to resist the load of the retained soil and transfer it to the pile. Greater capacity can be achieved by post-grouting within the bond length to increase frictional forces with surrounding soils. There are advantages of micropiles include: They are small and relatively light. They are relatively inexpensive. They can be installed through almost any ground condition, making them suitable for installation in environmentally-challenging conditions, such as for wind turbine towers. The limited vibration and noise causes little disturbance. Piling rigs can be low-emission or even electrically driven. They can be installed while avoiding existing utilities, meaning that expensive utility re-routing is not required. They can beinstalled close to existing walls with limited headroom and congested site conditions. They have a high load capacity and an ability to resist compressive, tensile and lateral loads.

Suite 2-7-5, No. 2, 7th Floor, Wisma Manjalara,
Jalan 7A/62A, Bandar Manjalara,
52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
+6012-3503682 daniel.chan@geopile.com.my
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