A Look at Various Components of Retaining Walls


If you’re building a retaining wall, there are four components to consider before starting your project. First, identify the location of your wall and make sure it can be supported by the soil. If the wall is to be located above a concrete slab, this is the first consideration. Second, consider the design and requirements for each individual component. Then, build your wall.

Bearings: The most obvious components are the bearings. Bearings provide lateral (vertical) stability to a retaining wall and to the foundation. The wall often contains a second layer of concrete to reinforce the footing, but the most important component is the bearing shell. This is the part that keeps the earth’s pressure in line with the overall design. Bearings have many names, including counterweights, ball joints, drum bearings, wheel bearings and more.

Suspended sill plate: Another component of the wall is the suspended sill plate. This provides stable footing and protects the surface from ground pressures. The design of the plate may depend on its placement relative to the direction of bank or slope, its degree of slippage (face-lift or angle of attack), the size and weight of the boulders, and other factors. Bearings and Suspended sill plates should be evaluated for their stability against known conditions.

Earth Raises: A cantilever retaining walls contains a number of individually adjustable elements. One such element is the earth rise or vertical edge. Earth rises adjust the vertical position of a structure, which in turn adjusts the cantilever. Earth risers adjust the horizontal positioning of a structure relative to the cantilevered structure.

Escapes: A shear edge detector is an instrument used in evaluating the stability of a structure. This device is mounted on a fixed pedestal and equipped with a vertically pointing lens. The detector can be integrated with a computer program that includes data on the shear changes over a specified period of time, a graphical plot of the changes and lateral movement of the walls. This data is useful for interpreting the relationship between vertical movement of the walls and the horizontal movement of the earth. The analysis of the escapes allows the engineer to determine the forces that act on a structure and to determine the effects of changes in those forces on the integrity of the structure.

Moment of Inertia: Moments of inertia are actually derivatives of potential energy. Moment of inertia is defined as the rate of change of velocity with respect to the gravitational potential energy. A force acting on an object causes it to move in a certain direction at a definite speed. The momentum of an object is actually the product of its velocity with the potential energy it possesses. Analyzing the relationship between momentum and the changes in gravitational potential energy allows engineers to evaluate the design of a foundation, slab or wall.

Foundation Design and Construction: The goal of foundation engineering and construction is to achieve a balance between cost and stability. Engineers use dynamic pressures (also known as dynamic pressure gradients) to determine where foundation conditions are likely to change. They apply this information to existing structures to predict the effects that such changes may have on future structures. The foundation’s stability is also determined by the relationship between the dynamic pressure gradient, surrounding conditions, and other factors. The foundation construction methods that should used depend on the relationships between the dynamic pressure gradient, other data such soil types, slope of the base material, and other conditions.

Other Components of Retaining Wall Material: Different materials are selected for different components of Retaining Walls Melbourne. For example, concrete and stone are generally used to build walls that need long term stability because these materials are highly tensile. Concrete is a solid material reinforced with steel rods embedded into the concrete surface. Stones are generally used as barriers or to beautify the landscape of a property.

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