Soil nails are typically short steel elements inserted into the face of a soil slope, with the surface then sprayed with shotcrete so that a zone of stabilized earth is produced.

Common Uses

  • Stabilize slopes
  • Support excavations
  • Restore retaining walls

Technical Details

This system performs like a gravity retaining wall to support the ground that is not reinforced. Soil nails themselves are drilled and grouted elements, consisting of a single steel (or, in rare cases, fibreglass) bar tendon  encapsulated in a cement grout body.  For permanent walls the steel elements can have additional coatings for corrosion protection.

Soil nail heads usually consist of a steel plate fixed in place against the slope surface by a nut threaded onto the soil nail tendon. Slope facing treatment, when used, can consist of some manner of meshing - steel or synthetic.

As it is often surface facing, typically shotcrete or panels can also be applied. In all cases, soil nailing preserves the slope's existing soils without large cuts and fills – this aspect is particularly advantageous when the slope being treated is vegetated with mature growth that can, by conscientious design and installation considerations, be preserved intact. Soil nailing equipment is small enough that it can be used in areas with restricted access. This technique is used for all types of excavations for buildings, slopes, underground utilities and roadways.