Reinforced Soil Retaining Wall:

Reinforced soil is a composite material formed by the association of frictional soil and tension resistant elements in the form of sheets, strips, nets or mats of metal, synthetic fabrics or fibre reinforced plastics and arranged in the soil mass in such a way as to reduce or suppress the tensile strain which might develop under gravity and boundary forces. The range of applications of reinforced soil technique is unlimited & identified several field applications, viz. retaining walls, abutments, quay walls, embankments, dams, hill roads,

Block Wall:

RSRW walls are gravity retaining walls with an expanded width (commonly known as "Reinforced Fill Zone") created by the placement of geogrid behind a column of segmental facing units. The combination of segmental units and geosynthetic layers act together creating a coherent mass to resist the destabilizing forces generated by the retained soil and applied surcharge loadings.

Geogrid reinforced walls should be designed in accordance with BS 8006 and are designed for the failure modes stated in the list to the right.

The other main considerations of prime importance is drainage within and around the structures and most importantly that the walls are constructed the correct way, paying careful attention to compaction, placement and orientation of geogrids. Again Retaining Solutions has this expertise in-house.

Essentially geogrid reinforced walls, due to their relatively low material and installation costs typically save 25 to 50% compared with conventional concrete retaining walls when above 2m in height. Again such costs are project specific and project specific constraints may dictate the type of retaining solution adopted.

There are a variety of segmental block/geogrid combinations available. Each and every combination has unique connection strength & interface shear strength properties.

The properties of the geogrid reinforcing elements play an important role in producing cost-effective designs. Commercially available geogrids are polyester (PET), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) or steel (strips, mesh panels or ladders, refer steel reinforced walls section).

Panel Wall:

RE Panel walls are a composite system of a face panel - generally concrete and a steel reinforcement element - either in the form of Geogrid / Steel strip or welded mesh, that is positively connected one to the other such that a stable unified gravity soil mass may be formed. The facing panel is generally a precast concrete unit that provides local soil stability and a "face" for compaction of the retained soil.

The panel may incorporate some special colour, texture or pattern to enhance the visual effect of the structure.

The steel reinforcing elements extend from the rear face of the concrete panel into the retained soil mass such that there is an effective increase in the shear capacity of the soil. The use of steel soil reinforcement elements allows the construction of retaining walls to very tall heights with the ability to withstand very large vertical and horizontal loads that are commonly associated with mining, bridge and highway structures. These specialist panel wall types are generally recognized as the single most appropriate technical solution to many specific retaining wall applications, where the tensile stresses generated within the structure are of such magnitude, that the use of alternate polymeric solutions such as a Geogrid.

Gabion Wall:

The most common civil engineering use of gabions is to stabilize shorelines, stream banks or slopes against erosion. Other uses include retaining walls, temporary floodwalls, silt filtration from runoff, for small or temporary/permanent dams, river training, or channel lining. They may be used to direct the force of a flow of flood water around a vulnerable structure. Gabions are also used as fish barriers on small streams.

A gabion wall is a retaining wall made of stacked stone-filled gabions tied together with wire. Gabion walls are usually battered (angled back towards the slope), or stepped back with the slope rather than stacked vertically.

Gabion baskets have some advantages over loose riprap because of their modularity and ability to be stacked in various shapes; they are also resistant to being washed away by moving water. Gabions also have advantages over more rigid structures because they can conform to ground movement, dissipate energy from flowing water, and drain freely. Their strength and effectiveness may increase with time in some cases, as silt and vegetation fill the interstitial voids and reinforce the structure. They are sometimes used to keep stones which may fall from a cutting or cliff from endangering traffic on a thorough fare.

The life expectancy of gabions depends on the lifespan of the wire, not on the contents of the basket. The structure will fail when the wire fails. Galvanized steel wire is most common, but PVC-coated and stainless steel wire are also used. PVC-coated galvanized gabions have been estimated to survive for 75 years.

Gabions have also been used in building. The exterior is formed by modular wire mesh gabions containing locally quarried stone; this construction creates an environment of moderate temperatures within the building.

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