Reinforced soil structures are formed by combining a soil material, which has good intrinsic compressive load resistance, with a reinforcing geosynthetic which has excellent tensile resistance.
This combination forms a “composite material” with higher performance characteristics than either of the two component parts.
The geosynthetic reinforcement elements typically comprise engineered products such as geogrids or high strength woven geotextiles. These are placed horizontally between successive layers of fill material thus forming a composite ‘reinforced soil’ system.
The interaction between the soil and the synthetic reinforcement elements (via particle interlock, adhesion and friction), gives the system a higher stress resistance than can be achieved by the soil alone.
Typical reinforced soil structures are seen in the form of strengthened earthwork slopes and embankments supporting infrastructure routes as well as walls, bridge abutments and in landfill applications.