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Soil Nails

Soil nailing serves as an efficient technique for stabilizing slopes and retaining walls. This method involves the insertion of steel bars or “nails” into a soil mass, providing tensile resistance to counteract the shear stress. The end result is a reinforced soil mass that acts more like a coherent unit than a loose fill, thereby improving the overall stability of the system.

What Does a Soil Nail Do?

A soil nail works by transferring the tensile load from the unstable surface of a slope or wall into the more stable soil layers, offering a cost-effective way to increase the shear strength of the existing soil mass.

Types of Nails Used

Generally, steel bars are the most commonly used type of nails in soil nailing, although hollow bars can also be used. These are typically grouted into place to provide additional bond strength.

Soil Nails vs. Anchors

While both soil nails and anchors serve to stabilize soil, the primary difference lies in their application. Soil nails are generally installed during the excavation process and are considered a passive system since they rely on soil movement to activate. Anchors, on the other hand, are pre-stressed, actively pulling the soil or structure into stability.

Longevity of Soil Nails

The lifespan of soil nails largely depends on the corrosivity of the soil conditions and the material used for the nails. In general conditions, galvanized steel soil nails can last up to 50 years.


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