Our history working with military agencies
From inception, Reinforced Earth® retaining walls were figured as a logical extension for constructing critical structures to protect against explosions, fire, and bombardment. The technology’s performance had already been established in many previous applications. Ordinary earthen structures offer advantages in protective barrier applications. However, Reinforced Earth® provides the additional benefit of vertical revetments, which not only minimize ground area requirements, but also increase the degree of protection.
Reinforced Earth® has proven to be a highly stable explosion barrier that impedes the propagation of a blast at ground level and absorbs high levels of energy due to its tolerance for deformation. Because it is resistant to multiple fracturing, Reinforced Earth® tends to minimize the dispersal of debris during an explosion while maintaining high levels of resistance to thermal shock.
The use of Reinforced Earth® walls for protective military structures was rapidly developed through a series of full-scale military testing starting in the middle 1970’s. This research and development continues even today, for example in developing state of the art solutions for designing and furnishing special Terre Armee MSE “bund” structures for dissipation of blast pressures and projectile impact.
Development, approvals and certifications
A similar research and development trajectory for the TechSpan® precast concrete arch technology beginning in the late 1990’s also continues today. In 1999, both Reinforced Earth® and TechSpan® was approved in combination by the US Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) for construction of standard oval arch earth covered storage magazines, or ECMs. TechSpan’s 3-hinge staggered arrangement integrates the arch’s backfill into the FEM model giving TechSpan® the inertia and flexibility to absorb explosive energy while remaining structurally intact.
In 2020 this standard design was improved with options for the owner’s engineer or building contractor to select optional geosynthetic soil reinforcements and fiber concrete reinforcements in lieu of steel reinforcements.
Also see our approved solutions for blast barriers
Other Terre Armée military applications include structures built to support roadways, bridges, rail spurs, and waterways at these military installations.