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A Deep Dive into Marine Piling

With an increase in extreme weather changes due to global warming, protecting canal banks from the impact of this is crucial. Marine piling contractors can help to maintain the integrity of the banks against flash floods and other conditions.

Here, we will explain what marine piling is and how water affects the materials involved, as well as who to contact if your project requires piling works.

What is canal marine piling?


Marine piling, also known as aqua piling, involves driving piles in water to support building works. It is often used to retain a wall between the bank and the water or to provide support to marine structures with the likes of boat dock pilings.


Marine sheet piling in water, which refers to the interlocking of steel sheet piles to form a wall that helps prevent river and canal banks from slipping into the water, is particularly popular. Due to the hardiness of this material and the process, it provides a longer-term solution.


Metal dock pilings or concrete dock pilings are similarly used to support the construction of a sturdy dock. Where floating docks are concerned, floating dock pilings are also available to anchor these structures to the floor, so there is a solution for everything. Dock piling depth and dock piling protection, such as the use of a piling post bumper, will all adjust the dock pilings cost though.

What materials are used in marine piling?


As marine piles are underwater, they are exposed to different substances and chemicals which can cause long-term damage. So, it is important that the correct materials are used to ensure the structure’s longevity.


Steel sheets are a popular choice as they offer greater load capacity, as well as durable corrosion resistance. However, only using marine grade pilings is vital, as the steel is galvanised to make it more resistant to corrosion. Not using correctly graded materials may lead to it breaking down or degrading in the water.


On the other hand, concrete pile systems are very strong, offering a more solid base in case of any works being carried out nearby. Wooden piles are also visually appealing and thrive in water with less oxygen, so they last longer.


Thinking about the location and nature of the water the piles will be in helps with selecting the best material. So, the key is to engage with marine civil engineering specialists to decide on the right material for the project. This includes composite marine pilings which are built to be stronger and last longer.

What support is there for marine piling in the UK?


Those looking to carry out marine piling works should contact specialist support from The Rothen Group and arrange a site visit. During this visit, the location, water depth and ground conditions can be assessed, along with other factors.


A quote can then be provided to account for the project’s individual requirements. Following this, specialist equipment will be brought in to carry out the work along with an experienced team to safely and effectively complete the works.


Having access to equipment such as hydraulic piling hammers, crane boats and long reach arms allows operators to finish a job as accurately and risk-free as possible. However, it is essential that these are only used by specialists able to accurately assess conditions to select and use suitable equipment. Projects are then able to run on time as it removes the need to wait for an external party to adjust the set-up of equipment according to the weather or terrain.


The Rothen Group Marine Piling Contractors

Equipment Used


Hydraulic piling hammers are used to drive sheets into the ground as part of the installation process. The Rothen Group, for instance, uses three different sizes of tool that can fit excavators and cranes from 2.5 tonnes upwards.


These hammers can run directly from the machine's hydraulic system or work on a stand-alone hydraulic power pack, making them easier to manoeuvre in hard to access areas. They can also be fitted with various inserts to suit the requirements of the piles or posts being used. With biodegradable hydraulic oil and reduced vibrations, the impact on the surrounding environment is kept to a minimum.


At TRG, a team of experts are all specially trained to accurately assess conditions when it comes to selecting and using the equipment. All personnel undergo rigorous lifting and health and safety training due to the risk involved when operating large machinery and heavy loads.


This level of expertise and testing is vital to ensuring a safe working environment regardless of complications and variations on-site, which can often occur in constantly evolving environments such as riverbanks. Consequently, competent operators and specialist equipment is vital to carrying out piling safely and efficiently, and ensuring the smooth completion of these projects.


With a passionate team of knowledgeable specialists, TRG can confidently assess and advise on the best solutions and techniques for marina maintenance and construction. Get in touch to talk to us about marina construction and maintenance by calling 01827 215715, email info@therothengroup.co.uk, or The Rothen Group for further information.

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