Freeze-thaw durability of segmental retaining walls

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Haisler, Jason Paul

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Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) construction has been taking place for less than 20 years. This form of construction for soil retaining structures can be much cheaper than other methods and also provides very good aesthetic qualities. Issues regarding freeze-thaw damage to the dry-cast concrete blocks that form the facing of SRWs have surfaced in the last 10 years. This study investigates issues regarding this form of damage by means of field and laboratory investigations. A literature review was conducted to investigate freeze-thaw issues in concrete and in dry-cast concrete in particular. Information was also gathered regarding production processes currently used by manufacturers and the state of the problem from state DOTs perspectives. A field investigation was conducted, in which the state of current in-service walls was evaluated and samples were identified for laboratory investigation. A laboratory evaluation was conducted including standard freeze-thaw testing, non-traditional freeze-thaw testing, chloride profiling, physical property evaluation, and air-void parameter evaluation of units received directly from manufacturers and from the field investigation.


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