Anchor Systems (International) Ltd, established in 1995 and based in the UK, are a globally leading supplier of earth anchoring products and solutions. Mechanical ground anchors, such as Anchor Systems’ Vulcan range, are routinely used for slope stabilisation, either in made ground such as railway and bridge embankments as well as natural ground cuttings or in foundation excavations.

Steepness, gravitational stress, poor drainage and an absence of rooted vegetation can leave slopes vulnerable to weakness and erosion, leading to ground instability and the possibility of slippage. Anchor Systems (International) Ltd offer cost-effective, practical, designed and engineered solutions for both slope stabilisation and erosion control creating a much safer and more pristine environment in both open land and on railways. Their mechanical anchoring systems are designed for any ground, earth and soil stabilisation associated with geotechnical engineering and securing geotextile and geosynthetic materials into position until vegetation can take effect.

Previous projects for geotechnical applications and erosion control have used Vulcan Earth Anchors systems for retaining a wide variety of geotextiles and geosynthetics including meshing, geo-grids, coir matting as well as geo-membranes with a wide range of sizes and accessories.

Forterra Brickworks approached Anchor Systems with a slope reprofiling and stabilisation requirement situated at their Tamworth site, Staffordshire. This was part of a £27 million investment to modernize the facility which had been in operation for 30 years, bringing it up to current standards of efficiency and sustainability.

Part of this upgrade scheme was to have a box feeder installed adjacent to an existing bund which spanned approximately 150 metres. Historical slope instability had occurred at various locations within the eastern slope of the bund.

KEY GS were commissioned by Forterra to undertake slope stabilisation/remediation design to the eastern slope of the bund.

The global stability analysis carried out by Key GS determined either an AS-30 or AS-50 (subject to site validation test) Vulcan Earth Anchor System installed at 1.5 metre centres across the slope face section to a four-metre minimum depth would be suitable for stabilising the reprofiled bund. Anchors were to be installed at a 20° angle from the horizontal and achieve a minimum hold capacity of 35kN. Greenax meshing was also specified to prevent localised erosion.

Hartmann Construction carried out the reprofiling works ensuring the slope had a maximum slope height of 5.8 metres with a slope angle of 34 ° (1v:1.5h).

330 AS-50 Vulcan Earth Anchors were installed across the 150-metre by eleven metre bund at 1.5-metre centres through the pre-laid Greenax meshing. All anchors were loaded and tested to confirm a 35kN hold capacity.

Reprofiling and installation works were carried out over a three-week period with a team of four operatives.

The plant required to carry out the installation works consisted of a 12T excavator with breaker attachment, T38 x 5m drive rod kit and handheld hydraulic loading equipment.