Soil Nails are used to stabilize slopes and potential landslide areas by inserting steel reinforcement in the soil. This creates a “Gravity Wall” that resists overturning or sliding. Typically, Soil Nails are constructed from the top down, designed 5 to 6 feet on center, and are about as deep as the height of the slope.
The construction of Soil Nails takes place when holes are drilled (4-8 inch diameter), the tendon bar is inserted, and the hole is grouted. A facing is constructed on the slope with drainage fabric, then typically shotcrete is applied over steel or mesh. A bearing plate is secured over the rod to secure the facing. Thus the design of a Soil Nail is to “reinforce” the soil along the entire length of the grouted Soil Nail. In this manner the soil becomes more cohesive and acts as a unit of mass, resisting sliding or overturning. Therefore Soil Nails act entirely different from tiebacks; with a Soil Nail, there is no special force on the anchor head and there is no bonded zone to use as an anchor.
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