Should light or heavy hammers be used in pile driving?

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In pile driving operation, proper selection of piling hammers is essential to prevent the damage of piles. For instance, a light hammer with higher drop causes a higher impact stress than a heavy hammer with lower drop provided that they generate the same energy per blow.

During driving, the piles are continuously subjected to considerable reflected tensile stresses and compressive stresses. In case the pile sections are incorrectly aligned, the lack of straightness may induce significant bending stresses being locked in piles during pile driving. Moreover, if obstructions are encountered during pile driving, bending stresses would be induced in 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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