Precast Reinforced Concrete Retaining Wall
Precast retaining walls are now widely used in a variety of industries and applications. The main purpose of a reinforced concrete retaining wall is for earth retention, however they also have a number of other applications; flood defence walls, aggregate bays, skip yards, recycling centres, waste transfer stations, silage clamps, slurry stores, industrial buildings, and more.
Precast reinforced concrete retaining walls are manufactured in a variety of ways but the basic principle is the same. A mould is used to give the desired shape of the wall, this will depend on the design and purpose of the wall. The most standard precast unit tends to be an L shape which can either be bolted down or cast into a concrete foundation. An alternative to this is a reinforced concrete panel which will normally be in the shape of a slab. Reinforced concrete panels have become less popular relative to a prestressed concrete panel as prestressing has considerable advantages, particularly when considering the shape of a concrete panel and how it needs to perform.
The most standard type of reinforcement used is steel, normally mesh or steel bars. The amount and layout of the reinforcement will be determined by the purpose of the wall and the retention properties it needs to achieve.
In terms of determining the reinforcement required it is usually necessary and advisable to engage a structural engineer. They will consider the forces that are going to be acting on the wall and they will specify the necessary reinforcement and the positioning of the reinforcement.
Armed with the mould and reinforcement requirements, mesh, bars and any other reinforcement is placed into the mould and held in position with the necessary spacers. Once in position the concrete is then poured into the mould and left to cure. The concrete mix is also important and the engineer will normally specify the required mix to give the necessary strength required for the retaining wall.
Once the unit is sufficiently cured the mould will be released and the unit will be removed. It will normally need to be left for a few days to allow the unit to cure sufficiently.
Precast reinforced concrete retaining walls offer many advantages over insitu concrete walls. The fact that they are manufactured in a controlled environment should mean consistent results that offer an invaluable solution where a precast reinforced retaining wall is required.