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SSAB's Steel Pile Day – the most important annual event for foundation construction
February 10, 2022 12:50 CET 6 min read
The air is filled with excitement. It is 9.52am, and the sound of nervous steps is setting the pace for the minutes before the beginning of the Steel Pile Day at 10am. The 15th Steel Pile Day, the second time it is being organized entirely online, is about to start. Before this moment, things were buzzing during rehearsals, as speakers were preparing for the live broadcast. There is a collective sigh of relief when the presenter of the day, Tomi Kaukinen, begins: "Welcome to SSAB's 15th Steel Pile Day".
Plans for Steel Pile Day 2022 had been in progress since summer 2021. Speakers were booked, schedules negotiated, topics worked on and the event as a whole was being planned, building up high expectations for the day. The closer the moment got, the busier the steps became. Finally, this is the day for which we have been working for several months. This evening, many of the organizers will happily sigh with relief while drifting off to sleep, as the tubular team's big effort, Steel Pile Day 2022, has successfully concluded for another year. The working group can be content and give themselves and their colleagues a pat on the back: the day was fantastic, and there were as many as 270 listeners online.
Presenter Tomi Kaukinen introduces the speakers one by one. Tanja Mantere, General Manager, Tubular Products, welcomes the participants after which it is time for the first presentation. Anssi Hyvärinen and Teemu Yli-Kovero introduce the new RR pile products. Next up are Ossi Hakanen from KFS Finland and Eelon Lappalainen from Fimpec. The men tell us about the largest piling site in Finnish history: The foundations for Metsä Fibre's new bioproduct mill in Kemi.
Antti is made of steel, and so are many others
Antti Perälä, Technology Manager at SSAB Europe, gives many presentations during the day. The first presentation is an introduction to the new rock shoes for RR piles used in the Kupittaan Parkki project. Sondre Smeland, Technical Manager, continues project presentations by speaking about the challenging Kattegat pier extension project located in Drammen, Norway. Many speakers think that, in addition to new products, these completed projects are the most interesting part of the Steel Pile Day. After Sondre's presentation, it is Antti's turn with his second presentation about shaft grouted piles and a new grouting shoe.
After the lunch break, project presentations continue with the introduction of the Korsvägen project in Gothenburg. Juhani Välisalo from Terramek introduces pile wall installation on a challenging site. This is followed by Antti Perälä, who continues by introducing two diploma theses: Vilma Pakkastie's diploma theses on an RDW pile wall as well as Tim van Brouwershaven and Thijs van der Broek's diploma thesis on the use of RD pile walls in the Netherlands.
Aki Kopra from Kreate continues presentations of major projects by speaking about the Kruunusillat project in Helsinki, which is Finland's largest bridge construction site. The project consists of two bridges and was ordered by the City of Helsinki: Kruunuvuori and Finke bridges. The planned service life of the bridges is as much as 200 years, which is twice as long as that of typically designed bridges.
Next, Antti Perälä speaks about steel pile standards and the related updates. Several standards in the field are currently being updated and, for example, a new retaining wall implementation standard is expected to be published at the beginning of next year.
Recyclable steel and design programs
Timo Koivisto from the Finnish Constructional Steelwork Association will give an interesting presentation in the afternoon about steel construction and low-carbon operations. It is a current topic in our company, as our goal is to be the first steel company in the world to bring fossil-free steel to the market. The last presentation by Antti Perälä deals with SSAB's own design tools: RRPileCalc and PileWallCalc. Modeling components for Tekla Structures and Autodesk Revit programs are also discussed.
The final project presentation of the day is held by Hannu Vesamäki from Kankareen Paalutus. He talks about the piling site of a Kesko service station store to be built in Mikkelä, Espoo. The challenge at this site is the capacity of the piles to penetrate varying fillings. According to Vesamäki, the construction of challenging sites will become more common in the future, as cities continue to grow and become denser. This is summed up in a thought shared by Eelon Lappalainen in the morning: "Start early".
In his closing speech, Petri Nieminen, head of the Pile product line, thanks the audience, guests and participants. "Phew, now my pulse rate is finally coming down", says Tanja Mantere behind the scenes once the broadcast is finished. The challenging effort is over, and it is time to switch off the cameras, presentations and polls and enjoy the successful day. A big thank you to all the participants!