Why are most marine piles circular in cross section?

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For marine piles, there are several options available for selection, namely H-piles, circular pipes and box piles.

However, only circular piles and box piles are suitable for marine application because of the following two reasons suggested by G. M. Cornfield (1968):

(i) Circular piles and box piles possess high column buckling strength. For marine structures like jetties, piles are well above seabed level and therefore the column buckling effect is significant when compared with other structures. Therefore, it is essential to use pile sections which have relatively high buckling strength in piers.

(ii) Circular piles and box piles display high energy absorbing capability. For marine structures like dolphins and fenders, which require substantial amount of berthing energy to be absorbed, these piles sections are inevitably good choices.

In marine structures, it appears that circular sections prevail over the box sections. The main reason is that the range of section available for selection of circular piles is more than that of box piles.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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