Structural performance of wood plastic composite (WPC) sheet piling
Publication Name: Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering / Volume 22 Issue 12
Publication URL: https://ascelibrary.org/doi/10.1061/%28ASCE%29MT.1943-5533.0000132
This paper describes the structural performance of an innovative wood plastic composite (WPC) sheet piling. Tensile coupon tests were performed to determine tensile strength and modulus over a range of strain rates for both WPC and specimens cut from commercially available vinyl sheet piles. Full scale four-point bending tests were conducted up to failure on 20 sets of joined pairs of WPC Z-piles with four different span lengths. For comparison, bending and coupon-level tension tests were also conducted on commercially available vinyl Z-piles and coupons cut from them. The coupon-level tests indicated that WPC had on average a 14% greater modulus than the vinyl specimens in the initial linear range, defined as between 10 and 40% of the respective materialÕs ultimate tensile strength. However, if the modulus is computed over the same stress range of 10Ð40% of the WPC ultimate tensile strength, both materials have a similar modulus. The vinyl had a tensile strength 3.6 times that of the WPC. During the bending tests, the hollow cross section WPC Z-piles failed primarily in bending-induced tension, while the solid vinyl Z-piles exhibited buckling of the compression flange. Creep rupture testing was conducted for pair of WPC Z-piles in a four-point bending setup to determine long-term load-carrying capacity. No loss of load-carrying capacity was observed during the 90-day test and creep rates generally decreased during the test. However, creep deflections were larger than what would normally be exhibited by wood structural members. While additional studies are needed to address the effects of water absorption on WPC properties, the findings show promise for wood plastic composite light duty sheet piling retaining wall structures.