March 2, 2010 (7:49PM)
HELICAL FOUNDATIONS AND ANCHORSSTATE OF THE ARTMarch 2, 2010R.W. Stephenson, P.E., Ph.D.INTRODUCTION
Helical piles (helical anchors) are finding increasingly widespread use in the geotechnicalmarket. These foundations have the advantages of rapid installation and immediate loadingcapabilities that offer cost-saving alternatives to reinforced concrete, grouted anchors and driven piles. The last 12 years have seen the rapid development of rational geotechnical engineering-baseddesign and analysis procedures that can be used to provide helical pile design solutions
Helical foundations have evolved from early foundations known as
screw piles or screwmandrills.
The earliest reported screw pile was a timber fitted with an iron screw propeller thatwas twisted into the ground(1). The early screw mandrills were twisted into the ground by handsimilar to a wood screw. They were then immediately withdrawn and the hole formed was filledwith a crude form of concrete and served as foundations for small structures. Conventional screw piles have been in use since the 18th century for support of waterfront and in soft soil conditions for bridge structures as early as the 19th century.Power installed foundations were developed in England in the early 1800's by Alexander Mitchell. In 1833, Mitchell began constructing a series of lighthouses in the English tidal basinfounded on his new