Every industry and its consumers are adapting to advanced and innovative technologies. This progressive change has eventually shown a steady rise and acceptance towards sustainable, durable and cost-effective products and solutions too. Several industries and leading players are coherent in moving towards this change. Civil constructions being one of the challenging and promising sectors is involved in designing, constructing and maintaining the physical and naturally built environment. From road construction to slope maintenance to rockfall mitigation, many materials have been upgraded from the conventional methodology.
Maccaferri understands the dynamism of the Indian infrastructure industry and has customized its products and solutions to be unique while having a minimum impact on the environment and to be able to resolve complex technical issues. Being the undisputed industry leader in the geohazard mitigation and civil engineering space, we do not simply sell products; we strive to be the leading technical reference for designing and developing advanced projects. Maccaferri is the inventor of Gabions, and these are widely used in civil engineering construction especially in highways, railways, mining, and hilly terrains.
What are Gabions & Terramesh®
Mechanically woven hexagonal double twist steel wire mesh products, Gabions and Terramesh® are widely used in highways, railways, mining, river training and hilly terrains. These products have defined their own set of uniqueness, resulting in a significant increase in demand in the coming years. The concern of improving the safety in roads, railways and other accident- prone areas reinforces the importance of value engineered scalable solutions wherein Maccaferri has well established itself. Maccaferri’s wire mesh products are produced with a special coating which protects them from environmental elements and hence promotes longevity and structural efficiency. Maccaferri’s PoliMac® polymer coating is applied over these products to meet the durability, performance and cost-efficiency demands of today’s civil engineering projects.
Maccaferri Gabions are cages that are engineered from double twisted hexagonal woven steel wire mesh. These innovative products are assembled and filled with stones at the project site. They form monolithic structures such as retaining walls, toe walls, channel linings, hydraulic control structures, erosion control structures and rockfall embankments. They possess characteristics such as flexibility, permeability, durability and cost-effectiveness.
Maccaferri’s Terramesh® System is a modular system used to form rock-faced reinforced soil walls (mechanically stabilized earth wall) and embankments. The units are made of gabion fascia along with an integrated tail as reinforcement. Green Terramesh® consists of double twisted hexagonal-shaped steel woven wire mesh lined with a biodegradable erosion control blanket supported by steel brackets and stiffened with a welded mesh panel.
Gabions and Terramesh® are used in several engineering applications such as:
- Retaining structures such as retaining walls, embankments and cuttings
- Erosion prevention structures for riverbank protection, groynes, weirs, and sea walls
- As a noise barrier
- To change the direction of the force of floodwater around the weak structure
Some key features of these technologies which contribute to the increase in their demand include:
- Durability – hold a very high resistance to atmospheric corrosion and becomes stronger with time because of the silt being collected in between the filling of the baskets over time.
- Cost-effective or Economical – in terms of both material and labour compared to conventional methods and lasts longer, that is, 50-100 years.
- Environmentally friendly – vegetation grows over these structures making them living structures. Also, these structures have lower carbon footprint compared to conventional structures.
- Flexibility – well developed and structured to settle and deform without failure and loss of integrity.
- Permeability – permeable in nature, reducing the need for costly drainage and provides automatic and easy drainage eliminating the need for the installation of drainage pipes.
- Scalable – Gabions structures are perfectly scalable as they can be used for massive structures but also for small-scale constructions.
- Relatively lower bearing pressure imparted and hence does not require deep foundation.
- In order to be used in aggressive environments, they are reinforced with an additional protective polymer coating.
- Gabions may be used for attenuating dynamic load as those resulting from impacts by vehicles or rockfall.
- When used as facing earth-reinforced structures with a vertical face, Terramesh® offer a more deformable surface to impact compared to other classical geotechnical alternatives.
The outstanding characteristics of Gabions make them more purposeful and Gabion constructions are economical and environmentally friendly as compared to concrete structures. Some of the projects successfully completed by Maccaferri in India have shown how Gabion technology has been a successful solution resulting in benefits for the longer term. These include:
Mumbai – Pune Expressway – Developed Gabion Retaining Wall in 1999 -2000 (First Project)
One of the first and major projects of Maccaferri which showcased the effectiveness and usage of gabion technology was on one of the busiest Expressway connecting two major cities – Mumbai & Pune. Maccaferri proposed a Gabion retaining wall to consume rock cutting in the ghat area of Lonavala which helped fast construction. The Lonavala area receives very heavy rainfall and gabions were preferred due to their free draining characteristics avoiding built of pore water pressure.
Bridge Protection Work for River Yamuna
In the late 1990s, the Delhi Administration had proposed a Road Bridge across the river Yamuna for the Mass Rapid Transport System and since the velocity would be very high it was important and necessary to protect the pillars of the bridge and the bed, Maccaferri developed its unique design using Gabions which was economical and durable than the stone rip rap. Even today, the structure has been stable and professional experts visit the site to monitor the situation.