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Reinforced Earth®

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Reinforced Earth® MSE Retaining Walls

Reinforced Earth® MSE Retaining Walls

Reinforced Earth is The Reinforced Earth Company’s flagship MSE retaining wall product, first introduced in the United States in 1971.

Construction Materials

The system’s soil reinforcements are inextensible High-Adherence (HA) steel reinforcing strips or ladders, which are bolted to tie strips embedded in precast concrete facing panels.

Diagram Showing the Basic Design of Reinforced Earth Components
Section: Basic Reinforced Earth Components with a wall top-out traffic barrier 

The concrete facing panels generally come in three types for our MSE wall: cruciform (5’ x 5’), square (5’ x 5’), and rectangular (5’ x 10’). Each panel shape has benefits related to differential settlement and aesthetics. The panels typically have a structural thickness of 5 ½”, not including aesthetic relief to account for ground movement. Custom panel dimensions and thicknesses can be manufactured if necessary based on project needs such as geometry, extreme wall height, or for protective structures. Panel joints have a ship lap, as well as geotextile on the back face, to provide adequate drainage of the structure while preventing loss of backfill. A catalog of corner elements and slip joint covers allow for complex horizontal alignments and added capacity for differential settlement.

Back face of Cruciform panel with embedded tie strips
Back face of Cruciform panel with embedded tie strips.

The reinforcing strips and ladders, as well as their connection to the panels, have been designed and tested to optimize the pull-out and tensile capacity for various backfill types, and backfill volume. The reinforcing strip is a 2-inch wide by 5/32-inch thick strip, with a pattern of ribs for superior bond with the compacted backfill. Ladders may be used for efficiency in low-height wall or lightweight backfill situations, where tension is low and extra pull-out capacity is needed. Corrosion protection in the form of galvanization, or occasionally stainless steel, is included to achieve a design life of 75 years, 100 years, or more.

Reinforcing strip connection on panel
Reinforcing strip connection at back face of panel.

Benefits of Reinforced Earth Retaining Wall System:

  • Inextensible soil reinforcements and bolted connections are secure, simple and quickly installed.
  • Durable precast facing panels allow for a wide variety of surface textures and custom artwork.
  • All components are lightweight and designed in accordance with the highest AASHTO and FHWA standards.
  • Suitable and proven performance for extreme loading conditions and complex applications requiring service a service life of over 75-years.

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Reinforced Earth® MSE Wall PDF Thumbnail