Concrete Piles: The Definitive Guide

This is a definitive guide on concrete piles.

In this guide, you’re going to learn:

  • About concrete piles
  • Their types
  • Advantages and disadvantages of them, and


So if you’re a civil engineer or somehow involved in the construction section, let’s be an expert in this type of pile.

What Are Concrete Piles?

It’s a type of pile made up of concrete.

It’s driven, pushed, or cast into the ground, which gives steady support to the structures built on top of it.

What are concrete piles?

Types Of Concrete Piles

These piles are three types:

  • Precast
  • Cast-in-situ, and
  • Prestressed

Let’s learn about these types of concrete piles:

Precast Concrete Pile

What It Is?

Precast concrete piles are prepared on the ground before being driven.

After gaining strength, they are driven into the ground using heavy machinery.

Of course, this type of pile is reinforced concrete piles.

And, the steel reinforcement is provided to resist the stresses produced due to its handling, driving, and loading which the pile is finally expected to receive.

Types Of Precast Concrete Piles

Based on shape:

  • Circular
  • Rectangular
  • Square
  • Octagonal

Based on installation method:

  • Driven
  • Bored

Driven Precast Concrete Piles:

These reinforced concrete piles are first constructed in a casting yard and cured.

Once gained sufficient strength, they are then driven into the ground up to the desired depth by hammering.

Bored Precast Concrete Piles:

These precast concrete piles are also constructed in a casting yard and cured until gaining sufficient strength.

After that, they are lowered into pre-bored holes.

Later, the space between the pre-bored holes and piles is grouted.

Between these two types of precast piles, bored precast piles have some advantages over driven precast piles. Such as:

  • Driven piles produce vibration and noises. But bored precast piles don’t.
  • It’s sometimes difficult to reach the strata of adequate bearing capacity at deep by driven piles. In that case, bored precast piles are prepared.

Advantages Of Precast Concrete Piles

Here are some advantages of precast concrete piles:

  • They increase the bearing capacity of soil as they compact surrounding soil.
  • These piles can be made in various sizes, shapes, and lengths.
  • In these piles, the reinforcement can be placed in its original position.
  • As these piles are constructed on the ground, you can maintain the quality of them with proper supervision.
  • These piles are suitable to drive underwater.
  • Precast piles can be loaded immediately after being driven.
  • The driving of an adjacent pile does not produce an adverse effect on the previously driven piles.
  • These piles are highly resistant to the biological and chemical action of the subsoil
  • Precast piles aren’t affected by groundwater
  • As these piles are premade, they reduce construction time.

Disadvantages Of Precast Piles

  • This type of pile requires special types of equipment for handling, transportation, and driving.
  • If sufficient care is not taken, these piles may break during transport or driving.
  • To bear handling and driving stresses, these piles require extra reinforcement.
  • Due to transporting restrictions, the length of these piles has to be limited.

Cast-In-Situ Concrete Pile

What It Is?

In this type of concrete piles:

First, a borehole is made into the ground.

After that, a casing is inserted into the borehole.

Finally, the bore is filled with cement concrete with placing reinforcement.

When you talk about cast-in-situ concrete piles, you’ll find two terms — Cased and uncased.

When the case is left in the bore whole that pile is called cased cast-in-situ concrete piles.

If the case is removed after pouring concrete that pile is called an uncased cast-in-situ concrete pile.

Types Of Cast-In-Situ Concrete Pile

Mainly, cast-in-situ concrete piles are two types:

  • Cased, and
  • Uncased

There are different…

Types Of Cased Cast-In-Concrete Piles

Such as:

  • Raymond piles
  • Mac-Arthur piles
  • Union metal monotube pile
  • Swage pile
  • Western button bottom pile

There are also various…

Types Of Uncased Cast-In-Concrete Piles

And, they are:

  • Simplex pile
  • Frankie pile
  • Vibro pile
  • Pedestal pile

Advantages Of Cast-In-Situ Concrete Piles

  • Any size and length of piles can be constructed.
  • Cast-in-situ piles are suitable in places where vibration during pile driving is prohibited.
  • Cast-in-situ piles don’t significantly disturb surrounding soil. That’s why they are suitable in soil with poor drainage quality.

Disadvantages Of Cast-In-Situ Concrete Piles

  • These piles required a superior quality of supervision during installation to control the pile quality. As well as, all piling materials need to be supervised properly.
  • It requires sufficient storage space for the piling materials.
  • The construction of in-situ piles can’t be done in places having a lot of current of groundwater or artesian pressure.

Prestressed Concrete Piles

Prestressed piles are actually precast piles.

In these piles, pre-tensioned cables are put inside the piles instead of reinforcement.


I hope, you’ve learned something about concrete piles in this guide.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Have you ever worked with prestressed concrete piles?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.