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The Physics Behind Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a very common feature of many development projects private and commercial this is because of their ability to hold back soil and water. But just like everything else in the world, there are physical forces at play that guarantee that all retaining walls properly serve their function. And as someone who might want to have retaining walls installed in their home or business property, it might be best to understand how exactly they function to grasp their importance.

Let us now go over the different types of retaining wall physics that experienced retaining wall builders keep in mind when they are building them. Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil by resisting the lateral pressure that soil exerts.

Lateral pressure.
You may be asking yourself what lateral pressure is well in layman's terms lateral pressure is simply the pressure that soil exerts in a horizontal direction. Now you can only imagine how much force a that could be, therefore when considering having retaining walls built it is best to find people who are aware of lateral pressure to handle the build.

The angle of repose.
Because soil and sand are granular materials something called the angle of repose must be taken into consideration when constructing retaining walls. The angle of repose (also known as the critical angle of repose) is the steepest angle of descent relative to a horizontal plane at which a material in this case soil and sand can be piled up without slumping. To understand this better imagine pouring sugar into a container and as you pour, it piles up like a pyramid, as the pyramid continues to grow it becomes steeper and steeper until it collapses. Now the angle of repose is the angle at which the sugar pyramid was at before it collapsed. Retaining walls are then built when the desire to change the ground elevation of a mass of soil exceeds the angle of repose.

You now know some of what goes into building quality strong retaining walls, and if you are considering having retaining walls built on your property it is best to find experienced professionals who are aware of the above-mentioned forces. And the team of Retaining wall specialists at Buffalo Retaining Walls are the perfect team for the job.

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Key Services

Some of the services we offer
  • Retaining Walls
  • Gabions
  • Paving
  • Attenuation Pond
  • Kerbs
  • Embankments/Stadium Seating