A new steel H-pile made its debut in the engineering and construction community recently. The very large new piles, HP16 and HP18, were accepted by ASTM in its standard specifications in 2010, and have, respectively, 16-inch and 18-inch size sections. Naturally, they are able to carry higher loads than their HP14 predecessors. The piles are manufactured by Nucor‐Yamato Steel, Blytheville, Ark., and distributed by Skyline Steel.

GRL Engineers Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, was involved in the conception and testing of this innovation. GRL vice president Mohamad Hussein was involved in the formation of the idea for higher-capacity H‐piles back in 2009. When Nucor made it a reality, GRL engineers from the Chicago and Charlotte, N.C., offices monitored the installation of the first production piles during the initial investigation phase. At that time, GRL employed the Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) to conduct dynamic testing that evaluated the drivability and bearing capacity of the foundation elements. GRL’s connection to the world’s largest H-piles continues, as its Cleveland office had the opportunity to again use the PDA to test the HP18 piles during construction of the Inner Belt Bridge in Cleveland. The dynamic load test of the 160-feet-long piles, which were driven to shale bedrock, required the use of the APPLE IV dynamic loading system during a restrike.

GRL Engineers specializes in deep foundation and offshore foundation testing and analysis and has seven offices that serve the United States, the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America.