Sheet piles can be plated to increase their strength. Usually four plates are attached to the outside of the flanges of a Z pile. The plates can be composed of many different lengths, widths, and thicknesses. The width and thickness of the plate should be governed by the need for either higher strength or stiffness. The plates do not have to be the full length of the pile; they only need to cover the portion of the sheet that would not normally be able to handle high loads.