Construction and testing of self-drilled soil nails

Slobodan B. Mickovski*, Fraser M. Lindsay, Martyn J. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
521 Downloads (Pure)


Current standards and best practice guidance recognise that testing of self-drilled hollow bar soil nails can be problematic as conventional packers and debonded lengths cannot be constructed. As a result, this causes difficulty in testing and confirming the ultimate bond resistance within the passive zone of a soil-nailed slope, and thus the design soil nail lengths. This paper provides a summary and review of the various testing procedures adopted for a soil nail construction project in Scotland. The practical design considerations, and their validation through the installation and testing of 49 sacrificial test nails, are detailed. The construction issues associated with the nail installation and testing are also outlined and discussed in light of the results obtained using different testing approaches. The aim of this case study is to report on the experiences with installation and testing of hollow bar soil nails. The objectives are to develop an initial data base of available soil–grout bond strength of hollow bar soil nails based on the several practical installation procedures used in this project and to establish areas for improvement of installation, testing and quality control in order to perform comparable pullout tests on self-drilled hollow bar soil nails.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1500149
Pages (from-to)541-553
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the ICE: Geotechnical Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date14 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Geotechnical engineering
  • field testing
  • monitoring
  • anchors
  • anchorages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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