Splicing is a common method used to repair defective timber piles in the marine environment. A pile splice involves replacement of the deteriorated timber pile section with a new section made from steel, or timber. The new section of pile is connected to the existing pile stump at the seabed, and then at the top of structure. Risks associated with this repair method (at the lower connection point) include:
· Deterioration of the original stump, which can occur if seabed levels change due to dredging or slope instability (refer to photo 1).
· Deterioration of the new pile splice section (refer to photo 2)
· Deterioration of the connection. Photo 2 shows a thin steel casing (most likely a 44 gallon drum body) has been used as sacrificial form work for the grouted connection. As the casing deteriorates, confinement of the grout is lost, ultimately leading to failure of the connection.