Advantages And Disadvantages Of Reinforced Soil


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What are the advantages and disadvantages of reinforced soil? Reinforced soil is a mixture of sand and aggregate, which is then mixed with an epoxy, polyurethane, or polyester resin.

workers undergoing soil reinforcement on site

This type of soil has a variety of applications in the construction industry; it can be used as a subgrade for roadways and foundations against seismic activity.

Reinforced soil is also used for high-quality surfacing material for athletic fields. One of the biggest benefits to reinforced soils are that the epoxy resins used to treat the soil is resistant to the proliferation of fungus.

This is an advantage because it keeps the ground from being too soft or from having a hard time draining, even after continuous use. However, this type of soil is not without its disadvantages as well.

In order for it to maintain its integrity, it must be kept in an environment where there is no moisture or moisture buildup.

This article will be discussing all about what reinforced soil is, the applications of reinforced soil, the advantages and disadvantages of reinforced soil, and many more.

What Is Reinforced Soil?

Reinforced soil can simply be defined as the combination of compacted earth fill with tensile reinforcement to create an earth structure. There are different kinds of reinforced soil; all of which are made with a combination of concrete and aggregate and reinforcement.

They can be aggregates composed of natural or artificial fill material such as asphalt, crushed stone, plastic, wood chips, and gravel.

Reinforced soils come in different sizes and shapes, designed to meet the needs of many different uses. The specific mixture used depends on what the soil is being used for and whether it is intended to provide any vertical structure inside or not.

The epoxy resin used to treat reinforced soils comes in liquid form when they are mixed with cementitious materials; however it can also be applied by spraying from a sprayer.

It is important to note that the epoxy resin can only be applied to the reinforced soil after it has been combined with cementitious materials.

Once a mixture of reinforced soil and epoxy resin has been made, it is then delivered and maintained in different ways such as using wheelbarrows, drills, or wheeled barrows.

Then, after it has been delivered to where it needs to go, the soil must be compressed by a wheelbarrow equipped with a hydraulic cylinder in order for it to maintain its integrity and stay stable.

All of these processes are extremely important in order for reinforced soils to maintain their integrity and stay in place.

The properties and performance of this earth structure depend on the bonding between the soil and reinforcement. The layout of reinforcement is done between the layers of compacted earth fill, which is an essential part of the construction process.

The layout of the reinforcement is done by engineers and professionals, which take into account the compression levels required in order to keep the soil stable. The type of reinforcement used to treat the reinforced soil depends on what it is being used for.

For example, a layer of geotextile fabric can be used as a drainage layer. Reinforced soils are also known to have certain applications in the construction industry.

One of the primary uses for these types of soils is for subgrades for highways and roads against seismic activity. They can also be used as surfacing material for recreational fields such as tennis courts, tennis courts, soccer fields, football fields, baseball fields, and many more.

The reinforcing elements may be metallic, polymeric or even natural materials, but usually they are prefabricated in the form of strips, grids, meshes, webbing, nets or fabric sheets.

They are placed in the soil to improve its mechanical performance, depending on the type of reinforcement used. The reinforcement can be: any metal, polymeric, or natural material.

Reinforcement is usually placed between layers of compacted fill material, for example: asphalt concrete (AC), chopped rock surfacing, topsoil and hardcore. In order to treat reinforced soil it is important to follow these steps:

a site undergoing soil reinforcement procedures
  1. Load the reinforced soil with a wheeled barrow or drill to compress it and apply the epoxy resin liquid or sprayer with a foam solution.
  2. Transport the reinforced soil to where it needs to be placed (on a road, for example).
  3. Once the reinforced soil is in position, it must be compacted.
  4. Place the reinforcing elements or mesh between the layers of compacted fill material.
  5. Apply a layer of geotextile fabric, depending on what its use is.
  6. Place another layer of compacted fill material over the geotextile fabric to provide stability and then compact it again.
  7. Apply the epoxy resin.
  8. After the epoxy resin has been applied to the whole surface, it must be compacted again and then maintained.

Now we have known what reinforced soil is, let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of reinforced soil.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Reinforced Soil

Here, we will be looking into the advantages and disadvantages of reinforced soil but firstly, we will have a look at its advantages and then later its disadvantages.

Advantages Of Reinforced Soil

The advantages of reinforced soil are as follows:

1. High Density

The density of reinforced soil basically means how much weight it can hold by its own force.

This is essential for a variety of works, even for aesthetic reasons such as the landscaping business and in construction.

It is important to note that reinforced soils are not the same from one area to another, so it will only work if it has been tested accordingly. If a location has a very soft ground or if the soil is not very compacted, then there won’t be much use in using this type of soil.

2. Resilience And Strength

Reinforced soil has the ability to reduce and distribute high loads, which makes it a reliable material. It is not affected by atmospheric pressures or vibrations.

The strength and resilience of reinforced soil also depend on the quality of the materials it is made out of. Reinforced soils can be used in different applications such as: motorways and highways; railways, roads; airports; sea sand dikes; tunnels and many more.

3. High Resistance To Vibrations

Reinforced soil is also known to be resistant to vibrations, which makes this material a good choice for different constructions.

A reinforced soil will still keep its integrity and it can withstand vibrations. It has the ability to resist vibrations due to seismic activity, traffic and transportation as well.

It is important to note that in some applications, this resistance can vary depending on the kind of reinforcement used with the soil.

4. Works In Areas With Soft And Weak Ground

It does not matter how soft the ground is if you have this kind of soil, because it will still be able to hold the weight of whatever structure is on top of it ( i.e Reinforced soil is also known to be effective in areas that have soft and weak soils).

It will be able to handle the loads without damaging them so it is a good choice for construction as well.

This is mainly useful for landscaping and construction, making it a very attractive material to use. It can also be used in other applications such as: railway tracks; tunnels; sea shore dikes and highways.

As regards that whatever has an advantages must always have a disadvantage, let’s move on to the disadvantages of reinforced soil.

Disadvantages Of Reinforced Soil

Some of the disadvantages of reinforced soil are as follows:

1. High Costs

One of the disadvantages of reinforced soil is that it can be very expensive, especially if you have to buy the whole reinforced soil and then test it.

For this reason, some people decide to not use this kind of material. Another disadvantage is that because this type of soil cost a lot to make, there is not as much profit for the people who produce them, which can negatively affect the economy.

2. Requires Expertise

This material needs special care and knowledge to work with it. There are professional soil engineers who can inspect the soil and make sure that it is safe to use. Otherwise, there could be an accident that causes serious damage.

The reinforcement cannot be replaced by anything else otherwise the whole purpose of using this type of soil will disappear.

The reinforcement can also be very expensive depending on what it is made out of, which will obviously affect the budget in construction.

3. Maintaining Is Very Difficult

The maintenance of this type of soil is very difficult and costly. The cost will increase if more methods are used to keep the reinforced soil in a good condition.

Some of these methods include: excavation, drainage, adjustment and re-compaction. If this type of reinforcement is not kept in a good condition, then it will not be as effective as when it was initially constructed.

In conclusion, reinforced soil is a material which has its advantages and disadvantages but it can be very useful in construction and landscaping applications. The cost is high but it depends on what is needed.


In conclusion, reinforced soil is a very useful material for construction and landscaping that can be used in various applications, depending on what its use is. There are various materials and types of reinforcement.

It can withstand high weights so it is a good choice for different applications that need to hold heavy loads such as: bridges; railways; roads; highways and also useful for construction.

It can be used in many places around the world where there is soil or when other materials cannot work well due to weather conditions such as harsh winds or seismic activity.

Reinforced soils are usually considered as one of the strongest materials known to man, which makes its possible use in different structures different from each other.

tractors on construction site undergoing site reinforcement

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