Composite Piles: Everything You Need To Know As A Constructor

In today’s post, you’re going to learn about composite piles.

That includes types, uses, advantages, and disadvantages of them.

Let’s dive right in.

What Are Composite Piles?

It’s a type of foundation.

More specifically, it is a type of pile foundation.

In composite piles, different materials are used to make piles separately.

And, drive one over the another like this:

What are composite piles?

Although piles are driven separately, they act together as a single pile.

You may ask why two piles of separate materials are used?

Because it reduces costs.

But, composite piles are rarely used.

Because it is very difficult to give the proper joints between two or more materials.

But, when joined properly, it can take a maximum load of up to 1471 KN.

The details of joints may vary as per the design of the pile.

And, these joints should be good in resistance against buckling.

Although they are rarely used, composite piles are suitable for where the upper part of a pile is to project above the water table.

Composite pile

Types Of Composite Piles

Based on the materials used, composite piles can be two types:

  • Concrete and timber composite pile
  • Concrete and steel composite pile

Concrete And Timber Composite Pile:

In these piles, the timber pile is generally used where there is no availability of the water table.

And, the concrete pile is used where there is a possibility of water contact.

Normally, a timber pile is used at the lower part of the pile and a precast concrete pile above.

Concrete and timber composite pile

Concrete And Steel Composite Pile:

These piles are used where the required length of the pile is more than that of the available cast-in-situ type.

Normally, the lower section of these piles is made up of Steel pipe or H-pile.

And, the upper section is of concrete.

The upper section may be cast-in-situ or precast concrete.

But, cast-in-situ concrete is more preferable.

Because it provides distribution of load throughout the pile length.

Advantage Of Composite Piles

Here are some advantages of this type of pile:

  • For long pile length, the cost of composite piles is comparatively low.
  • It reduces the cost of excavation, and
  • It also saves construction time.
  • Composite piles are very economical as we can utilize the great corrosion resistance property of one material with the cheapness or strength of the other.

Disadvantages Of Composite Piles

The main disadvantage of these piles is, it is very difficult to join two piles of different materials.

Besides this, it requires superior quality of supervision.


So, that’s it for today.

Here, I discussed everything about composite piles.

But I didn’t talk about their installation method.

Fortunately, I’ve talked about driven piles before.

As these are driven piles, you can read that post.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Have you ever worked with composite piles?

How do you join two piles of separate materials?

Let me learn from your experience by leaving a comment below.