Steel sheet piles and seawalls are commonly used in waterfront projects. The daily tidal changes introduce dry/wet cycles that lead to rapid corrosion of these structures. Most of the damage in sheet piles and seawalls occurs over the splash zone, which is defined by the low and high tide water elevation. The large size of sheet piles and seawalls and the fact that they are partially submerged in water makes their repairs very challenging.
A recent system developed by Prof. Ehsani offers an economical solution to such repairs. The product is named Sheet Pile Repair (SPiRe®) system and is constructed with lightweight honeycomb or 3D fabric sandwiched between sheets of resin-saturated FRP fabric. These panels can be easily manufactured near the jobsite to match the shape of the steel sheet pile or concrete seawall being repaired. The lightweight panels are secured in front of the repair area using anchor bolts. The annular space between the SPiRe® panels and the seawall or sheet pile is filled with grout or resin. The impervious sheets form a barrier in front of the wall that keep moisture and oxygen away. It is known that oxygen is the fuel to the corrosion process. The impervious SPiRe® shuts off the influx of oxygen and brings the corrosion process to a virtual halt.
Advantages of repairing seawalls and steel sheet piles with SPiRe® include