1 February 2016
Retaining walls have been around since the most ancient of civilisations and the engineering challenge of turning sloping sites into multiple flat levels has seen the same basic principles applied since those times.
Now a TSA accredited recycler has, amongst many engineering solutions, devised a way to apply civil engineering principles to the use of old tyres to create very stable, cost effective and quick to construct solutions for keeping large bodies of soil in place.
Ecoflex Systems, based in central New South Wales, has been successfully employing recycled truck tyres as the central component of retaining walls that deliver even greater stability than traditional construction plus offering a far longer operational life.
An E Wall, as Ecoflex names them, is constructed in an overlapping crib-like pattern. E Walls can be either gravity or reinforced soil retaining walls and consist of truck tyres that have had the sidewalls removed that are then filled with crushed rock.
In such applications, the E Walls deliver superior structural strength, particularly for high walls, whilst still retaining all the properties of more expensive and difficult to construct retaining walls. In addition, E walls allow for excellent drainage and even greater stability in unstable soil conditions. Of course, E Walls meet all Australian standards for retaining walls.
Other benefits of the Ecoflex Systems walls are the ability to be constructed in a modular fashion, allowing for far less site disruption, and to be covered in sprayed concrete, or other cosmetic facings, to fit in with the architectural requirements of the project. Further environmental benefit is derived from the walls being reusable, in new configurations, at the end of the life of a given site.
Ecoflex has successfully installed walls at domestic and commercial sites and used its patented recycled tyre construction technology in other applications, such as forming bases for road and rail in damp and unstable ground, certified crane platforms, hard stand areas, piling platforms, pavement sub-base stabilisation and for erosion protection in waterways, drains and spillways.
Civil engineering has been an invaluable discipline since mankind started to build permanent structures. Although many construction principles have been around for millennia, the E Wall and other applications of Excoflex’s innovations have introduced new options for engineers. Options that can be even more effective in solving perennial construction challenges whilst addressing an important modern recycling need.