Look down the socket from the end of the sheet pile to check for any bends or kinks that would make for hard driving conditions.
The open end of the socket comes from the mill at approximately ½”. From the side of the sheet pile, you want to see if there are any areas where the socket is “opening” too wide. The “Ball” comes from the mill at approximately 7/8”, if the socket is opened 7/8” or wider the sheet will not interlock. If the socket is ¾”, the interlock is almost worn out.
RULE OF THUMB: If your index finger (depending on the size) can move freely in the opening of the socket perpendicular to the sheet pile, the interlock is worn out.
The leading female interlock may have the top 12” of one side of the socket cut off. This makes the sheet pile easier to connect to adjacent sheet pile when driving.
Note if any material (Wadit, Adeka, etc.) was placed in the interlock to make the sheet pile more watertight.
BALL (MALE INTERLOCK)
Look down the Ball from the end of the sheet pile to check for any bends or kinks that would make for hard driving conditions.
The Ball comes from the mill at 7/8”. From the side of the sheet pile, make sure the ball is still in tact and not less than 5/8”. Keep your maximum allowable Socket size in mind when determining the acceptable Ball thickness.
It is acceptable for the sheet pile to have a handling hole at the top of every sheet.
Holes below the top of the sheet pile must be noted. These holes can be patched with a piece of flat bar and a full-length fillet weld around the patch.
Note any coating and weldments.
Look at each end to see if driving caused any bending or hammer “bites” out of the sheet pile. These bites are okay, but must be inspected. The sheet pile may show signs of cracking or splitting at these locations. Cracked and splitting tops must be cut off in a horizontal line just below the lowest sign of cracking.
Used sheet pile is generally priced by the theoretical weight measured down to the nearest whole foot. i.e. 29’-9” = 29’
If sheet piles are spliced it must be noted. Typically, the splice was not designed to transfer loads. The splice a weak spot and will greatly reduce the strength properties of the sheet pile.
Scale rust on the sheet pile surface is common and will not change the strength properties. Pitting rust is a sign of excessive corrosion and signifies that the sheet piles are at the end of their useful life.
Note if the sheet pile is free from mud and debris. Mud on the sheet pile can add weight, requiring more loads for shipping. Mud in the Socket can make the sheet pile more difficult to install, sometimes causing the interlock to fail.