A Gabion is a kind of cage filled with rocks /concrete or soil for landscaping purposes. Gabions are cuboid shaped wire mesh consisting of stones for various structural elements such as to retain the soil/rock in hilly/mountain regions, sea barrier walls, lined for mechanically stabilized earthen walls, hydraulic liners and channels lining beds. The prime function of Gabion is to function as retaining wall to afford better adjacent movement of soil/rocks to control earth pressure and to counterattack the self-weight in the case of gravity wall when settled and stabilized by their weight.
The gabion walls are made intentionally for soil stabilization in hilly areas and river beds. The wall is fabricated with separate gabion baskets stacked in rows at various heights filled with stones or gravels. The Basket has its desired shape with closed cages made of galvanized wire meshes.
Filling materials can be as gravel. Decorative coloured stones are quite suitable for the interior decorations and exterior wall design. Gabion wall can be made for garden walls to have a natural look. It may also act as retaining walls with great strength and permeability. Rarely the gabions are used as a load bearing wall for buildings also. Gabion walls offered an adaptive methodology for decreasing water velocity near shores and banks to protect slopes from erosion. In earlier days, gabions are used extensively for military forts, stabilization of coasts, highways and erosion control of slopes.
• Gabion wall can be used as retaining walls, entrance architectural walls.
• Effective erosion protective layers in river banks and canal lining beds.
• Corrosion preventive layers of sea walls, dams, weirs and reservoir banks.
• As a noise protective barrier.
• Gabions are temporary flood protective walls for soil stabilization.
• As a landscaping wall for interior design and pottery designs.
Benefits of Gabion wall
1. Aesthetic – Pleasant natural look -Great appearance.
2. Cooling system – In hot climatic conditions, passive cooling by air entrained
3. Water permeability –Permeable and not damaged by the flow of water current.
4. Durability – High conflict to atmospheric corrosion well fused zinc coating on the wire meshes and support vegetation growth too.
5. Flexibility – Flexible baskets without failure and loss of efficiency.
6. Permeability – Promotes drainage facilities and eliminates the need for the installation of drainage pipes.
7. Economical – Economy in terms of both material and labor
Gabion mattresses are used for the channel coating of river beds to prevent erosion. It tackles wave current and erosion induced velocity. Mattresses are usually fine porous, flexible structures. Gabion sacks like units are used for hydraulic works during emergency preparedness instead of sand bags. It is functional as anti-erosion method on the slopes. It augments the embankment power in blend with geogrid panels.
Gabion wall is adopted for aesthetic fence structures for garden walls and flower pots. The gabion baskets are stacked, connected with galvanized coated mesh to prevent distortion under the self-weight of superior gabion rows. Broken blue metals are also used as a fill for resistant to atmospheric influence. Rocks are machined or hand positioned in the gabion baskets, after filling baskets are closed galvanized steel rings.
Gabions are free drain out walls constructed by galvanized steel baskets. Gabion walls and baskets are available in various sizes and most cost effective system. The usual basket size is about 0.5 to 1 meter in height with and 2 to 4 meters length. The colours of rock are available in plenty with light to dark shades commonly in river beds or fractured rock with proper dressing in quarry sites. Flexibility of baskets is an important role in gabion structure. Meanwhile the baskets assembled with mesh wire and occupied with rock, the flexibility governs a lot to bear heavy pressure without distorting, or breaking as in the case of concrete.
Building gabions is fast, economical, predominantly appropriate for landslide in hilly regions. One of the quickest methodologies adopted during the disaster period. The weirs are provided with a gabion apron for scour protection. Durability and maintenance of weir are too low when it is being done using gabions. It is well often suited for small check dams across the water bodies to control the water. Gabion also imbibes the geogrid technology for fascia. Instead of earthen walls and soil stabilization methods, gabions reinforced with geogrids are mostly used today for faster construction. Though it is protected with wire mesh, it has high energy absorbent capacity in rock fall and water fall areas. Mainly triggering of rocks to fall is been completely eliminated while gabions are preferred. Bastion is a new advancement using gabion lined nonwoven geotextile membrane to fill granular soil instead of rock. Trapion is a trapezoidal cross section gabion designed for stacking, sloping rather than stepped.