What Is an H-Pile Beam?

Pile beams create a foundation for heavy structures like buildings, bridges and roads. The piles are made of steel that’s driven or drilled into the ground in order to help distribute the weight of a structure from the loose topsoil down to the stronger soil or rock below.

H-piles are one of several different types of piling. They’re as wide as they are deep and have the same thickness in the flange and web. When compared to standard beams, H-pile beams provides better weight distribution over a wider area. Because of this, H-piles can support larger and heavier structures, such as tall buildings and factories. Individual piles have been tested to withstand loads of 1,000 tons. The high loadbearing capacity of H-piles allows large buildings to be built without the risk of weakening beams. Although they can be designed for skin friction, the H-pile shape is most effective at transferring loads through the pile to the end.

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Process of Manufacturing and Rolling H-Pile Beams

Rolling is the name for the process that is used to create H-pile beams. First, a beam blank (an undeveloped length of steel) is heated to make it pliable. The steel is then rolled using caliber rolls in order to form the beam into a rough H-shape. After the rolling is finished, the beam will undergo fine tuning using a universal mill and an edging mill. Within the universal mill, there are more rollers called H-rolls and V-rolls (which stand for horizontal rolls and vertical rolls), which run along the top, bottom and sides of the beam to shape it, while at the same time holding it in place. The H-shaped cross-section becomes fully formed when the material passes through the universal mill.

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Materials Used in H-Pile Beams

While H-pile beams can be crafted from new steel, they’re often made from recycled steel, or “scrap.” The recycled steel used to make H-pile is usually in good condition or sometimes brand new. New steel might be sold as “used” or “surplus” if the steel was left over from another project, such as in instances where more steel was ordered than needed.

One of the benefits of H-pile is that it’s 100 percent recyclable. This means it can be pulled from the ground and reused decades after use, making it one of the most environmentally friendly piling materials available.

H-Pile Beam Sizes

In the past, H-pile has only been manufactured in 8-, 12- and 14- inch sizes. Today, H-piles come in 16- and 18-inch sizes as well. Common wide flange beam sizes for bridge foundation projects are:

  • HP8 Beams: HP8x36

  • HP 10 Beams: HP10x42, HP10x57

  • HP 12 Beams: HP12x53, HP12x63, HP12x74, HP12x84, HP12x89, HP12x102, HP12x117

  • HP 14 Beams: HP14x73, HP14x89, HP14x102, HP14x117

  • HP 16 Beams: HP16x88, HP16x101, HP16x121, HP16x141, HP16x162, HP16x183


Eiffel Trading is pleased to offer brand new stock h-pile and wide flange beams! We offer custom-rolled and stock steel beams at a low cost with coast-to-coast shipping.

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