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New MacLean Vortex PileTM (MVP) Includes a 3.5” Diameter Helical Pile That Gets Encased in an 8” Diameter Grout Column

by Bill Bonekemper

August 13, 2013

Early MVP test results suggest a potential for increased compression

capacity of up to 97% versus non-grouted helical pile

When designing deep foundations, two concerns engineers have with piles utilizing long slender columns (such as helical piles) are lateral capacity and buckling.  This concern has typically been addressed in the deep foundation industry with the use of the grouted column. The use of the grouted column offers additional lateral load resistance and reduces the potential for column buckling.   Grouted composite columns are an accepted alternative to heavy steel members or monolithic concrete piers.

MPS Civil introduced the MacLean Vortex Pile (MVP) in June to the deep foundation market as a helical alternative to traditional deep foundation options.  The MVP pile is currently offered on the P35 and P35H pipe shaft (3.50” diameter pipe with a 0.216” and 0.300” wall thickness respectively).  The MVP connection is created by a unique cast coupling that creates a clean and smooth 8” column (which requires no load capacity adjustment for poorly formed sides) and agitates the grout creating a vortex motion to increase grout intake. The MVP is installed with standard helical pile installation equipment with the only additional requirement being a grout reservoir into which the grout is placed during installation.  

According to the MPS Civil team, the installed cost for the MVP makes it an economical alternative to auger cast piles on projects calling for approximately 100 or fewer piles or for projects with limited equipment access and tight working quarters.  The MVP requires only a 3-man crew - no rebar to tie, no specialized heavy equipment (auger rig or crane) and no soil spoils.

In February of this year, MPS Civil conducted compression and tension load tests on the MVP product to validate design recommendation assumption.  Click here to read the report.  Due to the acceptance of grouted piles in the deep foundation industry, MPS Civil chose to forgo extensive load testing in an attempt to bring the product to market in summer 2013.  MPS Civil anticipates the MVP to be utilized on project requiring design professional sign off and therefore load testing prior to installation.  MPS Civil will also be updating their MDRS helical pile design software program in early Fall 2013 to support the MVP product.  As with all MPS Civil products, the company supplies engineering support for the MVP product to assist engineers and installation contractors with pile design and calculations.

MPS Civil has displayed the MVP at several shows since the introduction including the Helical Seminar in Vancouver, BC, the American Institute of Architects annual shown in Denver, Co, and local professional engineering society trade shows in the southeast.  MPS Civil is planning on introducing the MVP to the deep foundation industry at the DFI annual show in Phoenix, AZ in September.  Inquires about the MVP can be made directly to MPS Civil or your local MacLean Dixie distributor.  Click here to read MVP tech bulletin.

MPS - Civil Products Group

481 Munn Road - Suite 300

Fort Mill, SC 29715