The principal components of a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall consist of retained and select backfills, reinforcing elements within the select backfill, and a facing. Retained backfill is the material located between the mechanically stabilized soil mass and the natural soil. The select backfill is used to construct the mechanically stabilized earth mass and is required for durability, constructability, and good soil reinforcement interaction.
The reinforcing elements within the select backfill may consist of steel strips or bars, welded wire mats, geogrids and geotextiles. The facing is to prevent sloughing or erosion at the face of the structure. Common facings include precast concrete panels, dry cast modular blocks, gabions, welded wire mesh, shotcrete, timber and wrapped sheets of geosynthetics.
MSE walls are cost effective soil retaining structures that can tolerate much larger settlements than reinforced concrete walls. By placing tensile reinforcement elements (inclusions) in the soil, the strength of the soil can be improved significantly.
The Collin Group has been design engineer of record for hundreds of MSE walls across the United States.