Unsupported browser

For a better experience, please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Technical paper: Soil nailing: Application and practice – part 1

DA Bruce, BSc, PhD, CEng, MICE, MIWES, MASCE, MHKIE, FGS and RA Jewell, MA, PhD, MICE. This paper was first published in GE’s November 1986 edition.


For well over a decade now, engineers in France, Germany and N. America have been exploiting the special advantages of the technique of soil nailing. This geotechnical engineering process comprises the insitu reinforcement of soils and has a wide range of applications for stabilising excavations and slopes. It has been researched with large budgets since 1975 by collaborations of contractors, universities and government organisations. It has been the subject of International Conferences, Symposia and Seminars since 1979,and has given rise to a rapidly expanding literature of technical papers and articles. There are abundant successful case histories to cite in a wide variety of ground conditions and applications.

And yet, as far as the authors are aware, engineers in Britain seem to have either ignored these developments or have remained unaware of the pedigree the technique has now established over the years. This review, compiled with the cooperation of researchers and practitioners in Europe and the United States, is intended to reveal both the potential benefits which the system can provide, and the means to realise them. It summarises the major features, and historical evolution of soil nailing, it illustrates the popular applications by brief accounts of the more significant projects executed, and it describes the construction methods now being applied.

In a companion Paper, the results obtained from measurements on full-scale trials and model tests are introduced, and the current understanding of soil nailing behaviour and existing design methods are described.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.