Facebook Icon YouTube Icon LinkedIn Icon Twitter Icon RSS Icon

Glossary of Piledriving and Foundation Construction Terms

Welcome to the APE Gloassary for piledriving and foundation construction terms. This is a great place to look for terms that you may be unfamiliar with when working with or researching piledriving technologies. This glossary also contains terms unrelated to piledriving, but that are frequently used on and around foundation construction projects. If you have a question or have term that you would like to add and do not know who to call please contact the APE Headquarters in Washington at (800) 248-8498. Business hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time. For less immediate inquiries, or if you would like an APE sales representitive to get in contact with you, please visit the APE Contact Request Form.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Letter W

Waffle Plate Used between two wood memberst to prevent slippage after bolt up.
Wakefield Pile Timber sheet piles consisting of three planks bolted or spiked together, with the middle plank offset so as to form a tongue along one edge and a corresponding groove on the other. See Sheet Pile.
Waking Up a Pile 1) The time it takes to get a pile in motion after it has set up in the soil. For example, a 120-foot long H-Pile may be driven in two steps. The first 50 feet are driven and then the second 50 foot section is welded or spliced to the first section already driven. Due to delays in welding time, it could be days or even weeks before the second section is driven. This time delay allows the pile to set up in the soil. When driving begins for the installation of the second section, the driving may start out difficult due to the soil set up on the first section. In many cases, the pile begins moving again once the hammer has hit the pile a few times. This is called “waking up the pile”.

2) When extracting piles using a vibratory pile driver/extractor, it is common practice to attempt to drive the pile to break the friction between pile and soil. This once this friction is broken the crane operator can pull on the pile and remove it with less difficulty. The act of trying to drive the pile for a short time prior to extracting it is called “waking up the pile”.

3) Prior to the introduction of the vibratory pile driver/extractor, when extracting piles using a pile line and a dead pull, it was common to strike the pile with an impact hammer to break the friction. This would be called “waking up the pile”.

4) Any method used to break the friction of the soil from the pile prior to driving or extracting.
Wale (Waler) 1. A horizontal structural member placed laong a line of piles to accept the load from the piles and trasmit it to struts, shoring or other bracing.
2. A rubbing strip or fender on the face of docks.
Wall Thickness The thickness of the metal of a pile.
Wash Boring 1. A method of advancing a boring by means of rotary drilling utilizing water or a bentonite slurry to stabilize the sides of the opening.
2. A method of examining soil, usually in soft soil or clay, by driving a pipe into the ground and then inserting a small pipe inside of it, through which water is forced to wash out soil particles in water suspension for examination. Also called Water Jet. See Airlift.
Water Content The ratio of the quantity (by weight) of water in a given volume of soil mass to the weight of the soil solids, typically expressed as a percentage.
Water Jet See Jetting.
Water Stop A rubber, neoprene or some composition material used to prevent passage of water through a joint.
Water Table The subsurface elevation at whcih water will usually be present. Also called Groundwater.
Wave Equation A mathematical equation that describes the mechanics of force transmission along an elastic rod (pile_ that has been subjected to a mass having a specific initial velocity from which the energy transmission and stress at any point along a pile being driven can be computed. First applied to pile installation by E. A. L. Smith.
Wave Speed (C) The speed of a stress wave in various materials. It is described by the formula:

C= E/P1/2

E = Velocity in feet/sec.
P = Mass density>br>H = Height of fall in feet

e = Hammer efficiency

For a double-acting steam/air hammer, the impact velocity is:

V = (2GEe/W)1/2

E = Rated energy
W = Weight of the ram
e = Hammer efficiency
Ways See Side Channels.
WEAP Title of computer program standing for Wave Equation Analysis of Piles.
Wedge A tapered piece of wood or metal.
Weephole A small hole, as in a retaining wall, to drain water to the outside.
Well Point The perforated end section of a well pipe which permits the groundwater to be drawn into the pipe for collection and dispoasl or use.
Whaler A horizontal bracing member used in form construction to support the stud uprights on concrete forms.
Wharf The generic term for a landing place or platform built at the edge or out into water for the berthing of vessels.
Wheel Term for the circular hub used to steer a vehicle, boat, or etc...
Wheel House The house or cabin where the wheel is contained for steering the boat.
Whip Check A cable or chain attached to each side of a joint in a pressure hose to keep it from flying around or whipping if the joint were to become uncoupled. A safety device required on all air hoses.
Whipping The tight wrapping of the ends of the rope with a small twine to prevent it from unlaying and fraying.
Whiskey Pile Term used when you are on the job working, you can buy whiskey because you are there and getting paid. In the past, pilebucks worked hard and drank hard.
Whistle Bit A term for working past the start of lunch break or working past shift end. It happens when one does not keep track of time, or give themselves enough time to pick up tool before days end.
Wide Flange Rolled structural steel section in an H shape but greater depth than flange width and flanges thicker than the web. See Steel H-Pile.
Wild Hammer A hammer with prongs, pants or skirts, attached is set on the pile and the pile is driven without the use of leads.
Windlass A simple winch that uses a crank or lever to turn the drum.
Wing Nut An internally threaded fastener with two projecting ears to facilitate turning and tightening by hand.
Wing Wall Short section of wall along the edge of an abutment. Used to retain soil, stabilize the abutment, and divert water into an opening, such as a culvert.
Wings Short length or strips of steel welded near the toe of a steel H-pile to increase its bearing capacity.
Working Load See Design Load.

Go Back

APE Partners GSA SmartPay Deef Foundations Institute Pile Driving Contractors Association IMECO Collins Company Internation Association of Foundation Drilling Terresolve Foundation Associates SEMW