Short Course 3

Short Course 3

Helical Piles Design, Installation and Testing


Yasser Abdelghany*, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Helical piles/anchors have been utilized in uplift forces applications for many years. More recently, they have gained popularity for bearing load applications. The speed and ease of installation, as well as low cost for new construction and repair, make them versatile for many applications.

This course focuses, in detail, on the basic fundamentals of helical piles and the different design theories for piles subjected to axial and lateral loads. In addition, it explores the most recent advances for helical piles subjected to seismic and machine loads. Types of helical piles, installation methods, and effect of geometrical configurations on their performance and capacity are discussed. A thorough treatment of the different field testing programs (i.e. static and cyclic loading and vertical vibration tests) is provided together with  a brief description on  the instrumentation techniques. Most recent advances in the construction and performance of square-shaft small diameter piles as well as the circular-shaft large diameter piles are presented.


7.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH)

Course Objective

To provide the participants with adequate knowledge on the generaprinciples and theories ohelical piles as a versatile pilling technique.

Who should attend?

Geotechnical and Bridge Engineers, Projects managers and engineers of national, provincial and local building construction or highways agencies and Construction contractors' engineers and project managers who deal with major or mega projects. Construction, land developers, foundations contractors and sub contractors, technicians and supervisors who are interested in deep foundations.

Program One Day Course Outline

Properties of Soi


   Index properties 

   Effective stress

Shear strength parameters Stiffness parameters Dynamic soil properties

Geotechnical Investigatio


Subsurface exploration program 

StandarPenetration Test (SPT) 

Cone Penetration Test (CPT)  

Soil parameterforpile design

Anchors and HelicaPiles: Introduction,installation, anapplication

   Introduction on pile foundations

Introduction on anchors and helicapiles

History ohelical piles/anchors Applications of helical piles/anchors Helical piles installation/equipment

Soils and site suitability

Helicapiles installation torque measurement and calibratio

Types of helical piles

   Bearing and Uplift Capacities 

Pile toe and shaft resistances Theories:

-     Individual bearing method

-     Cylindrical shear method

Bearing capacity of single-helix and multi-helix piles in cohesive soils 

Bearing capacity of single-helix and multi-helix piles in cohesionless soils

Uplift capacity of single-helix and multi-helix piles in cohesive soils  

Uplift capacity of single-helix and multi-helix piles in cohesionless soils 

Estimatinpile capacity by cone penetrometer

Empirical method odesign (torque-capacity relationship

Factor of safety of helical screw piles anlife expectancy 

Group efficiency

Effect of pilgeometrical configurations on performance and capacity

Worked examples

Bearing and Uplift Capacities Rigid and flexible pile analysis Group efficiency

Effect of helicaplates

Down Drag Force

Pile Load Testing

Static axiaanlateral testin

Cyclic axial and lateral testin

Vertical vibration testing

Loading procedures

Interpretation oresults

Future Developments

Innovations in helicapile industry

After Attending This Course You WilBAble To

Learn the principles, theories, and applications of helicapiles 

Recognize the failure mechanisms of helical piles

Achieve confidence in design ohelical piles under the different loading modes 

Develop an adequate background on the dynamitesting of helicapiles 

Develop adequate knowledge of helical pile static testing techniques and dynamic testing techniques 

Awareness of most recent advances in the helical pile industry

(*) Dr. Yasser Abdelghany, is currently a geotechnical engineer at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, prior to his current position, he is the Construction Standards and Contracts Engineer at the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (Government of British Columbia in Canada) Since 2009 and a Visiting Professor at University of Victoria (UVIC) New Civil Engineering Department (Geotechnical Engineering) in which he teaches undergraduate Geotechnical and Foundations Design Courses since 2014 – today, and at Western Ontario University (UWO) Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in which he taught post graduate courses since 2013. He is a Professional Engineer in British Columbia, Ontario; and a member of the Transportation Research Board TRB - AFS30 Foundations for Bridges and other structures committee (Term 2011-2014 and 2014-2017).