The Difference Between Soil Nailing and Rock Anchoring

The engineering experts here at Condor Projects specialise in a variety of ground stabilisation techniques, all of which are designed to ensure safety whilst allowing land to be used in the most efficient way. Soil nailing and rock anchoring are two popular methods of strengthening unstable ground, each following unique systems and having different applications. To help you understand which of these will best suit your needs, below are explanations of how the two approaches work.


What is soil nailing?

Designed to stabilise roadway cut excavations, slopes and retaining walls, soil nailing can be chosen as a temporary or long-term solution. Once applied, it will greatly improve the structure of an existing mass by using large bars that are usually made of steel. Holes are drilled into the soil by our engineers and the bars fastened into them with grouting, ensuring even distribution.


How does soil nailing work?

Thanks to the soil nails being closely spaced from each other, the completed system works in unison to bind the earth together. This adds significant reinforcement to the slope or embankment, keeping it secure and preventing the movement of soil. The result is a stabilised elevation that is no longer at risk of changing shape, slipping or collapsing.


A fast and cost-effective solution

Soil nailing is a quick and affordable ground stabilisation system, with Condor Projects managing the design, supply, installation and testing of the entire process. Whether you need a new excavation prepared for future use, an existing slope stabilised as a priority or even have an emergency situation, we’ll complete the project to the highest standard whilst adhering to a strict timeframe.


What is rock anchoring?

Highly versatile and used as a long-term solution, rock anchoring can be applied to rock slopes, tunnels and excavations. These structures can become weakened due to vibrations, erosion and general wear and tear, which poses a very real danger to landowners, workers, drivers and the general public. By choosing Condor Projects for rock anchoring, you receive the peace of mind that the area has been stabilised by a geotechnical engineering company with many years of specialist experience.


How does rock anchoring work?

Rock anchoring uses metal bars called rock anchors. These are drilled directly into the stable rock, flushing out debris in the process. Due to the anchors being located at the centre of the rock mass, the natural stability of the land is transferred to the exterior surface, preventing movement and collapse. The rock anchors are then secured to each other by a mesh, which is mounted to the surface.

Alternatively, spade or sock anchors can be used. Spade anchors consist of an anchor head attached to a flexible steel tendon. The head is secured into the ground and the tendon stressed, causing the head to rotate 90 degrees and lock itself firmly into place. Meanwhile, sock anchors are a steel bar inside a fabric sock, which is pumped full of grout. This is ideal for areas of rock that contain fissures, as the sock shapes itself into the gaps and hardens, effectively filling the empty pockets.


Long-term stability

Perfect for areas that are otherwise difficult to stabilise, rock anchoring is a highly effective method of securing rock slopes, tunnels and excavations for a prolonged period.


Get in touch

If you’re interested in finding out more about soil nailing, rock anchoring and other forms of ground stabilisation, call our team on 01757 288900 or fill in our contact form.