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Gravity Walls

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A retaining wall that relies solely on it’s own weight to stand up is called a gravity wall. Allan Block combines the basic engineering principles of setback, leverage and total unit mass with simple mechanics to make highly stable gravity walls.

Setback & Sliding Wedge

Every retaining wall supports a "wedge" of soil. The wedge is defined as the soil which extends beyond the failure plane of the soil type present at the wall site, and can be calculated once the soil friction angle is known. As the setback of the wall increases, the size of the sliding wedge is reduced. This reduction lowers the pressure on the retaining wall.

                 Inclinación y la Cuña Deslizante    Comparación de la Cuña Deslizante

Leverage and Total Unit Mass

As the setback of a gravity wall increases, the leverage from course to course increases. This added leverage allows you to build taller walls before reinforcement is needed. With the hollow core design, Allan Block comes to the job site weighing less than solid, heavy block. Once the cores are filled, the Allan Block units develop the same unit mass as solid blocks. This mass combines with the setback to determine the maximum gravity wall heights.

See the Gravity Wall Heights Chart for reference.

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Gravity Wall Heights

use the Gravity Wall Heights Chart to find the maximum height that can be built before reinforcement is required. The gravity wall heights shown do not account for seismic loading. Check with a local engineer for assistance if you are in a seismic area.


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