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What is the basic mechanism of soil nails in improving soil stability?

Soil nails improve slope stability by:

(i) Partial increase in the the normal force and shear resistance along potential slip surface in frictional soils.

(ii) Direct reduction of driving force along potential slip surface for cohesive and frictional soils.

(iii) Soil nail head and facing provides containment effect to limit the deformation near slope surface.


Soil nail head serves to provide reaction in mobilizing tensile force in soil nail. Moreover, it provides confinement to soils in active zone behind soil nail head and avoids the occurrence of local failure between adjacent soil nails.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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