Eiffel 101: The Four Types of Steel Pile

There are four main types of steel pile, including sheet pile, pipe pile, h-pile and wide flange beams.

Sheet Pile

Sheet piles are sheets of steel material with interlocking edges that are driven into the ground to create earth retention systems, provide stable foundations, and to support excavation projects. Unlike other types of pile, sheet pile can act more like a wall and is commonly used for retaining walls, land reclamation, car parking lots, basements, riverbank protection, seawalls and cofferdams. The interlocking system of sheet piling allows for easy positioning and driving of the piles, as well as creating a close fitting joint that can be brushed with sealant to be made watertight.

Pipe Pile

Steel pipe pile is used to create a strong foundation for large, heavy structures such as buildings, bridges and roads. As the name suggests, the piles are made of steel pipe that’s driven or drilled deep into the ground in order to help distribute the weight of a structure down to the stronger soil or rock below. Pipe piles range in size from several inches to several feet in diameter, and they can be connected to create a pile that is hundreds of feet in length.


H-piles are similar to pipe pile in their function, but differ from pipe pile in their shape. H-piles are structural beams that are dimensionally square, with the same thickness in the flange and web. When compared to other types of pile, the H-pile beam design provides better weight distribution over a wider area and can support larger and heavier structures, such as tall buildings and factories. Individual piles have been tested to withstand loads of 1,000 tons.

Steel beams: wide flange, h-oile, and more

Wide Flange Beams

Wide flange beams are most similar to h-pile beams, but instead of equal flange and web thickness, wide flange beams have disproportionate dimensions. Wide flange beams include a central web that connects two parallel end units, known as “flanges.” Wide flange beams have high loadbearing capacity while also being light in weight, which is what makes them a popular choice in construction and foundation projects. They are utilized for a wide variety of heavy civil applications including combi-walls, bridge foundations, and much more.

Common Sizes for Steel Pile

Steel pile comes in a wide range of sizes. Some common sizes include:

Common Sizes for Steel Beam

Steel beam comes in a wide range of sizes, including both wide flange piles and H-piles. Some common sizes include:

  • W8: W8x18, W8x21, W8x24, W8x28, W8x31, W8x35, W8x40, W8x48, W8x58, W8x67

  • W10: W10x22, W10x26, W10x30, W10x33, W10x39, W10x45, W10x49, W10x54, W10x60, W10x68, W10x77, W10x88, W10x100, W10x112

  • W12: W12x26, W12x30, W12x35, W12x40, W12x45, W12x50, W12x53, W12x58 ,W12x65, W12x72, W12x79, W12x87, W12x96, W12x106, W26x120, W12x136, W12x152, W12x170, W12x190, W12x210, W12x230, W12x252

  • W14: W14x22, W14x26, W14x30, W14x34, W14x38, W14x43, W14x48, W14x53, W14x61, W14x68, W14x74, W14x82, W14x90, W14x99, W14x109, W14x120, W14x132, W14x145, W14x159, W14x176, W14x193, W14x211, W14x233, W14x257, W14x283

  • W16: W16x26, W16x31, W16x36, W16x40, W16x45, W16x50, W16x57, W16x67, W16x77, W16x89, W16x100

  • W18: W18x35, W18x40, W18x46, W18x50, W18x55, W18x60, W18x65, W18x71, W18x76, W18x86, W18x97, W18x106, W18x119, W18x130, W18x143, W18x158, W18x175, W18x192, W18x211, W18x234

  • W21: W21x44, W21x50, W21x57, W21x58, W21x55, W21x62, W21x68, W21x73, W21x83, W21x93, W21x101, W21x111, W21x122, W21x132, W21x147, W21x166, W21x182, W21x201, W21x223, W21x248, W21x275

  • W24: W24x55, W24x62, W24x68, W24x76, W24x84, W24x94, W24x103, W24x204, W24x117, W24x131, W24x146, W24x162, W24x176, W24x192, W24x207, W24x229

  • W27: W27x84, W27x94, W27x102, W27x114, W27x129, W27x146, W27x161, W27x178, W27x194

  • W30: W30x90, W30x99, W30x108, W30x116, W30x124, W30x132, W30x148

  • W33: W33x118, W33x130, W33x141, W33x152, W33x169

  • W36: W36x135, W36x150, W36x160, W36x170, W36x182, W36x194, W36x210, W36x232, W36x256

  • HP8: HP8x36

  • HP10: HP10x42, HP10x57

  • HP12: HP12x53, HP12x63, HP12x74, HP12x84, HP12x89, HP12x102, HP12x117

  • HP14: HP14x73, HP14x89, HP14x102, HP14x117

  • HP16: HP16x88, HP16x101, HP16x121, HP16x141, HP16x162, HP16x183



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