Use of steel mesh reinforcements in road structures

Terasverkkojen kaytto tierakenteissa

Steel mesh reinforcements have been used in Finland in reinforcing road structures since the 1970s, mainly in repairing longitudinal frost heave cracks. During the last few years, the use of steel mesh reinforcements has grown because of clear economical benefits and durability of road structures. Steel mesh reinforcements are used primarily in frost heave cracks, rutting and road widening. Long term usage and experiences as well as new results from research projects have now been taken into account in the Finnish Road Administration's new planning guidelines. In long term practical work, field research and research projects, it has been verified that with the assistance of steel mesh reinforcements permanent deformations can be delayed. The effect of steel mesh reinforcements becomes the most evident in road sections which have weak bearing capacity and where the soil is extremely frost-susceptible. In this study, the focus in dimensioning procedures was on the use of steel mesh reinforcements in repairing frost heave cracks, because it is the most common reason for using steel mesh reinforcement in Finland and there was not steel mesh reinforcement dimensioning procedure model available. In the introduced dimensioning model, the road structure is seen as a cantilever. The length of the cantilever is based on the cross-section of the road. Load possibilities were 1) road structure load and 2) combined road structure and traffic load. In both possibilities there were also sub-cases, where the load consisted of either a) road structural layers or b) road structural layers and the part of soil that is above the dimensioned frost depth. In the dimensioning calculations, the results with cross-sections are mainly similar to previous recommendations. It seems that there is no need to change the recommendations. However, in pedestrian and bicycle ways and in the case of all cross-sections, a slightly less steel amount would seem to be sufficient. The determination principles of the load option sub-cases in the dimensioning calculation should be developed further, because now they do not exactly represent the real situation and function of the road structures, but rather they represent extremities. Besides the exact planning, it is also important to handle steel mesh reinforcements accurately and implement road structures properly. The essential things to observe are the correct transportation manners, storage and installation of steel mesh reinforcements. In addition attention has to be paid attention to working manners and safety on the site. Sufficient time and effort should be invested in the traffic control. This report may be found at


  • Finnish

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  • Accession Number: 01146905
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • ISBN: 978-952-221-220-7
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 24 2009 8:27AM