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Major Advantages of Vinyl Sheet Piles over Steel Sheet Piles

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Vinyl sheet piles (also called PVC sheet piles, Plastic sheet piles, and Synthetic sheet piles) are becoming popular and a leading choice when comes to seawall, bulkhead, and cut-off wall construction. This materials superiority may not be on over-all basis but showcases significant advantages over other sheet pile materials as follows:

Vinyl sheet pile installation

Easy Handling and Installation

Vinyl sheet piles can be up to >70% lighter than other sheet pile materials, especially steel, making it easier to handle, transport, and install. Vinyl sheet piles do not swell like wood and are manufactured with strict dimensional tolerances. Due to their uniformity and consistency, installation can be done (under normal conditions) simply by impact driving and especially with the aid of excavator or a compact vibro hammer.

vinyl sheet pile catalog

Cost Efficiency

Basing on market prices, vinyl sheet piles can be up to >40% cheaper than steel sheet piles and FRP sheet piles. That is material comparison alone. However, the real economical measure of it is not just the comparison of costs for the initial installation but the overall cost in the long term or throughout its life span. Since vinyl sheet piles last much longer than more traditional materials, the cost of repair is greatly reduced and replacement is delayed. Steel sheet piles incur maintenance costs from corrosion protection measures while vinyl sheet piles are maintenance free.

Corrosion Resistance

vinyl sheet pile installed

In marine applications, steel sheet piles are exposed continuously to natural influences, most especially saline water and oxygen, making them highly vulnerable to corrosion. Corrosion rates on unprotected steel averages from 0.1m to 0.3mm per year depending on exposure zones. The need for corrosion protection measures such as coating and sacrificial anode is a must. Vinyl sheet piles in contrary are UV and corrosion resistant.

Longer Service Life and Sustainability

vinyl sheet pile Longer Service Life and Sustainability

Mainly due to its superior corrosion and chemical resistance, Vinyl Sheet Piles can be designed and installed with the confidence on its performance for 50 years and beyond. Vinyl has a long shelf life which means natural elements like the sun, wind, and water are not likely to break it down as quickly as other materials. With the relentless radiant energy from the sun, combined with the surrounding’s harsh elements, walls made from materials other than vinyl will eventually rot, corrode, or become a habitat or for marine-boring critters like small mollusks and crustaceans. They are also fire resistant and proven to possess adequate resistance against creep under sustained load.

Vinyl sheet piles are also seen to use recycled materials in its manufacture.

Consistency of Appearance

Wood fades, paint chips, and steel rusts over time. With Vinyl sheet piles, this problem is virtually eliminated maintaining its lasting & aesthetic look for long period of time.

Vinyl sheet piles
vinyl sheet pile installed

Equipped with vast knowledge and 30 years-experience in Sheet Piling, ESC Group has been delivering sheet piling solutions to marine structures such as bulkheads & seawalls, tide walls, breakwaters, wave breaks, jetty, groins, erosion protection, and retaining walls.

We from ESC are pleased to help you in all of your project needs. Browse through ESC's new range of sheet piles, manufactured in facilities in Europe and Asia, at or contact a representative near you.

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