Combination walls are generally used if large water and/or earth containing constructions, such as quay walls, need to be built,. These are steel tube piles or heavy steel beams with sheet pile interlocks, between which steel sheet pile sections are inserted. The disadvantage of these constructions is that they require a large embedment depth and the construction is susceptible to corrosion.

An Open Cell™ construction offers an excellent alternative. This construction, developed by the American engineering agency PND, is a cellular sheet pile, composed of filled cells which are all U-shaped when viewed from above.

The sheet piles consist of flat sheet piles of type PS 31 or PS 27.5 which are driven along the front to form an arch face and transfers its force to the vertical anchor walls, which are perpendicular to the front wall. This method requires only minimal embedment in order to achieve the (significant) containing height. The flat sheet piles from Gerdau Ameristeel are the recommended material for these walls, because besides having the required interlock tolerances of around 10°, they also have the required interlock strength. (The interlocks of the sheet piles are all under strain of tension.) 

The connection between the curved arch wall and the vertical anchor wall is achieved by the extremely solid corner pile section SWC 120©. This section was developed especially for Open Cell and is rolled from a single piece, without welding. This creates a very solid corner pile section which is necessary in order to transfer the high forces. 

An Open Cell™ construction is highly suitable for large retaining constructions with large (uneven) loads. The system of forces (the sheet piles are under strain of tension instead of strain of bending) makes corrosion a different story altogether. The swift construction time and absence of an anchoring wall particularly make the system extremely economic when compared with existing systems.


In brief, Open Cell™ is the ideal solution for constructions that have to fulfil and/or resist: 
• High top load • Corrosion-resistant 
• Heavy ice load • Insusceptible to erosion 
• Large retaining heights • Earthquakes 
• Minimum embedment • Poor soil condition 

Download the Open Cell™ brochure here

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