Why Steel?

Steel reinforcements (welded wire mats, bar mats, high adherence strips) offer the following advantages:

  • Inextensible.
    Steel reinforcements undergo very low strains when loaded, so there is negligible structure deformation due to reinforcement elongation.
  • High Adherence.
  • Steel reinforcements embedded in specified granular backfill do not pull out, assuring internal structural stability.
  • High Tensile Capacity.
    Steel reinforcements have high strength, which is well suited to MSE structures over a wide range of heights and loadings.
  • Long Service Life.
    Steel reinforcements are galvanized with 2 oz of zinc per sq ft of metal surface (ASTM A-123), helping them achieve a long service life. When embedded in backfill conforming to AASHTO requirements for pH, resistivity, chlorides and sulfates, the reinforcements can be designed to meet AASHTO’s permanent MSE wall 75-year service life requirement (100 years for critical structures like bridge abutments).
  • Economical.
    Steel reinforcements attached to precast concrete MSE facing panels are straightforward to install using simple connection devices cast into the panels. Only modest construction equipment and a small labor crew are necessary for wall erection. The required granular backfill is easy to place and compact and the more free-draining backfills can be placed almost regardless of weather, increasing productivity and economy.