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A Closer Look at Pile Foundations

July 29th, 2015 2:37 am

Pile foundation is necessary when there isn’t sufficient soil bearing capacity for the structure to be able to withstand. It is caused by the condition of the soil or operational conditions, conditions at the site, load types on the foundations or order of the bottom layers.

There are many different factors that can prevent a surface foundation being selected as a well-suited foundation, such as intensity of loads and nature of the soil. We use piles for building in water such as dams and bridges or where soil has low bearing capacity.

There are two components that make up a pile foundation: a group of piles or single pile and the pile cap. The load from structures are transferred by piles to the soil that has hard bearing capacity, rocks or hard strata. They are slender and long, with a length that may exceed 15m.

Piles are made out of steel, wood or concrete, depending on what the requirements are. The piles are then jacked, drilled or driven into the ground. They are then connected to the pile caps. The classification of pile foundations is based on the piles load transmitting characteristic, type of soil and the material used in the pile construction.

Pile foundations have been used as load transferring and load carrying systems for a number of years. In the early days, they used timber piles. They were driven into the ground manually or holes were dug and then filled with stones and sand. Since the 19th century steel piles have been used, and since the 20th century concrete piles have been used.

With the industrial revolution and changes in technology, many advanced systems for pile driving have been developed from diesel and steam pile driving machines being invented.

Pile foundation usage continues to increase due to the lack of available land for construction. Multi-storied, heavy buildings are being built, and the loads from the structures can’t be transferred directly to the ground because of the issue of low bearing capacity as well as stability issues with the building when lateral load is being applied. So the demand for pile foundations continues to increase. This high demand has resulted in many improvements being made to piles as well as pile driving systems and technology. There are numerous advanced pile installation techniques available these days according to UK screw pile foundations provider Ground Sun.

Pile Foundation Function:

Like other foundation types, the purpose of a pile foundation is to:

– Transmit the loads of the building to the ground soil layers and foundations whether the loads are inclined or vertical.

– Install cohesion less and loose soil through vibration and displacement.

– Control the settlements. Surface foundations can accompany it.

– Increase the safety factor for heavy load buildings.

All of these things are functions of pile foundations and are some of the reasons for their increased use in the modern day.

Why not let us know what you think about these foundations in the comments below.

Screw Pile Foundations

Which Type of Smoke Detector Should You Install? Photo-Electric or Ionization?

October 25th, 2014 8:14 am

Smoke detectors are an essential part of any home safety kit, and they are actually required by law in many parts of the world, including Australia and some US states. Installing a smoke detector is easy and relatively painless, so there is little excuse for not spending money on a device that could easily save your life and the lives of your family.


However, many people are genuinely confused by smoke detectors because they come in different shapes, sizes and forms. Different smoke detectors work in different ways and the two main types – photo-electric and ionization – have different benefits and drawbacks. So which type should you install?


What’s the difference between photo-electric and ionization smoke detectors?

Ionization smoke detectors are the older form of smoke detectors, and they work by combustibles ionizing particles within the detector, which disrupts the flow of current in the detector and causes the alarm to sound. Photo-electric smoke detectors work by ‘seeing’ the smoke: photo-electric detectors aim a reflected beam of light and when smoke particles prevent the light from reflecting, the alarm sounds.


Why do some authorities recommend having both detectors?
Some fire authorities recommend that homeowners have both types of detectors in their home because they each detect a different type of fire better than the other. Ionization smoke detectors are slightly better than photo-electric smoke detectors at detecting flaming (non-smoldering) fires, and photo-electric smoke detectors are vastly better than ionization smoke detectors at detecting smoldering fires. Both types of fire are common in house fires, with smoldering fires particularly noted in common scenarios like a cigarette setting fire to a piece of upholstery.


It is generally agreed that photo-electric smoke detectors on the whole perform better, but fire departments often encourage homeowners to hedge their bets by buying both kinds of alarm.


Is one type truly better than the other?
If you were to have only one type of smoke detector, most experts would recommend choosing a photo-electric smoke detector. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they are not as prone to false alarms as ionization smoke detectors and therefore they cause less annoyance. Secondly, photo-electric smoke detectors are better at detecting smoldering fires, which are the kind of fires most likely to break out when you are asleep (and therefore when you are in the most need of a fire alarm).


Smoldering fires can spread slowly over hours without detection before suddenly fully igniting and bursting into flames: by this point, it is often too late for homeowners to escape. On average, ionization alarms sound 30 minutes later than photo-electric during smoldering fires: a huge amount of time that can be the difference between life and death. It is for this reason that the Australian state of Victoria, for example, recommends the use of photo-electric smoke detectors as they are “more likely to alert occupants in time to escape safely”.


If you are looking to professionally install photo-electric smoke detectors in your home or business, check out Corospark Electrical. Corospark is a leading Sydney based electrical company that offers a range of smoke detectors at unbelievable prices.

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