Architectural gabion is welded mesh which is either mild steel coated with 300gsm of 10% aluminium and 90% zinc or 316L Stainless Steel.
We stock a wide range of gabion products and accessories including C rings and gabion tools.
Gabion makes ideal garden walls for any landscaping project. They have the advantage of being easy to build and can look great. By using different rocks and materials a gabion wall can stand out. Useful to breakup areas of garden or park into separate areas. A low wall of 1m or less can be built to curve around a seating area for example. Also great for acoustic walls by using sound absorption materials within the wall with rocks on the outsides.
Gabion has been traditionally been used for retaining walls due to its low cost compared to conventional methods. They can be built as either mass gravity walls (relying on the weight of rock to retain the earth) or as mechanically stabilised walls (which use geogrids or earth anchors to hold the wall in place).
Cladding and Columns
Architectural gabion is perfect for cladding an otherwise ugly concrete facade or column. They can be built to a depth of only 200mm. Often used in front of woven (hex mesh) gabion which is cheap but unattractive. By building an architectural gabion facade in front of a saggy woven wall a designer can achieve both cost savings and a fantastic looking building or wall.
Curved gabion wall using AL-TEN
ASTM 974-97 is the only standard for welded gabion. The standard states that the minimum requirement for a gabion weld mesh is that if it is a mild steel it must have a minimum coating of 275 gsm (4mm wire). It should be noted that standard galvanised weld mesh DOES NOT meet this standard and is usually closer to 60 grams or less of coating. In an ideal situation a standard galvanised mesh can still last 10-25 years but is severely affected in any aggressive environment.
AL-TEN gabion wall
AL-TEN™ (mild steel mesh) Gabion
Manufactured in mild steel to a minimum wire coating of 290 grams per m2 which is Aluminium 10% and Zinc 90%. The mesh is manufactured in Australia to meet gabion specification ASTM 974-97.
AL-TEN has a high Aluminium content (10%) coating which over time turns the mesh into a darkish grey colour. This has the benefit of absorbing light rather than reflecting it. Especially apparent when viewing a wall from an angle, the rock is more visible and the mesh less so. Using a highly reflective finish such as plain gal, stainless steel or PVC results in the mesh being more visible to the eye when viewing at angles.
Standard ex-stock grades
Aperture: The aperture is the distance from the centre of one wire to the centre of the next both horizontally and vertically.
We are currently producing as standard products both 4mm and 5mm mesh in 75mm x 75mm aperture and 4mm in 100mm x 50mm aperture.
Custom manufacturing to different aperture sizes, for example 50mm x 50mm, 100mm x 100mm in both 4mm and 5mm diameter wire.
AL-TEN wire physical properties
AL-TEN gabion feature columns (black powder coating). Note: this was a custom project which involved the contractor (Riverview Civil) having the gabion mesh powder coated. They also cut the panels to the required size and built the framework.
|Aperture||4mm diameter||5mm diameter|
|50mm x 50mm||custom||custom|
|75mm x 75mm||standard||standard|
|100mm x 50mm||standard||custom|
|100mm x 100mm||custom||custom|
standard: ex-stock, custom: can be manufactured although minimums will apply
Standard Aperture Sizes
75mm x 75mm aperture, the most common size. When calculating cage sizes take into account that all lengths, widths and heights will be in increments of 75mm. Overall it is easier working with a square aperture than a rectangular one, however a rectangular aperture can have a stunning look.
100mm x 50mm aperture. When calculating cage sizes take into account that lengths, widths will be usually be in increments of 100mm and heights 50mm. This is based upon it being more common for 100mm in the horizontal plane.
Sometimes it is desirable to place the 100mm vertically (eg if a high wall this may be done to deter climbing).
Aperture: 75mm x 75mm (not to scale)
Aperture: 100mm x 50mm (not to scale)
Although difficult to predict as lifespan of all steels is largely dependant upon the environment. Generally you can expect 20 years life for galvanised wire, and 2-3 times longer life span for Galfan, AL-TEN™, PVC coated and stainless steel.
The mesh life is dependant upon no damage to the coating during installation or during the lifetime of the wall. Because the wire is a coated mild steel any damage to the mesh which removes the Zinc/ Aluminium coating will eventually corrode. If upon inspection damage to the coating is seen or corrosion has occurred it needs to be rectified.
Other considerations when determining lifespan is soil PH levels if the product is placed directly on the earth. A geotextile fabric such as Syntex nonwoven 145gsm may be used as a separation layer. Some rock such as limestone has a high PH (alkaline) which may have a detrimental effect on the mesh.
Rock cleaning or other chemicals including acids and caustic solutions which come into contact with a Galfan, Galvanised, Stainless Steel mesh may have a detrimental effect to metal surfaces and may cause premature corrosion and breakdown at areas of contact. It is recommended to not use any chemicals and to wash immediately with water should contact occur. If exposure to corrosive type chemicals to Zinc and Aluminium is expected alternative systems should be considered following analysis of potential problems. Once corrosion has occurred it may be necessary to apply a rust remover and to then apply either a cold galv or zinc/aluminium paint to affected areas.
Expected lifetime for the different coating classes and different corrosivity categories is shown in the table. Corrosion is a complex issue. Due to the many variables including prevailing wind direction, type and concentration of corrosive contaminants, the amount of sea spray present and the relative periods of moisture or condensation and dryness, only an estimate of expected life can be made in regards to the wire life expectancy. The corrosivity classes are based upon the standard EN ISO 9223.
The table is based upon test data of the wire during simulated laboratory testing.
|AGGRESSIVITY OF ENVIRONMENT||AL-TEN|
|C1: Very Low (Internal buildings with clean atmospheres)||100 years +|
|C2: Low (Low level of pollution, mostly rural areas)||100 years +|
|C3: Medium (Urban and industrial atmospheres, moderate sulphur dioxide pollution, coastal areas with with low salinity)||93 years|
|C4: High (Industrial areas and coastal areas with moderate salinity)||47 years|
|C5: Very High (Industrial areas with high humidity and aggressive atmosphere, coastal and offshore areas with high salinity)||25 years|
|CX: Extreme (Extreme industrial areas, coastal and offshore areas with occasional contact with salt spray)||< 10 years|
Anticipated lifetime years until 5% dark brown rust
Stainless Steel 316L Gabion
Manufactured in rust resistant 316L Stainless Steel and used where salt water is likely to come into contact with the gabion or where customers prefer the look of stainless steel.
There are 3 standard grades of common stainless steels. 302, 304, 316. Our 316 is manufactured in the more resistant 316L grade. The L designates it is a low carbon stainless and is considered to be more suited as a marine grade steel. The advantage with 316L is that the welds are more resistant to corrosion.
Standard ex-stock grades
|Aperture||3mm diameter||4mm diameter|
|50mm x 50mm||standard||custom|
|75mm x 75mm||custom||standard|
|100mm x 50mm||custom||custom|
|100mm x 100mm||custom||custom|
standard: ex-stock, custom: can be manufactured although minimums will apply
Stainless Steel 316L 3mm
PVC Coated Weld Mesh Gabion
USA made PVC coated gabion which incorporates a steel wire which is hot dipped galvanised followed by a coating of primer and then a fuse bonded, powder coated PVC. This is the maximum protection for a gabion and is superior to all others in severe environments where the gabion is in contact with salt water. This type of gabion is supplied in roll form.
Fuse bonded PVC powder coating of welded mesh gabions is bonded uniformly to mesh after welding to form a super skin. This prevents corrosive liquids from attacking the galvanized core wire – even in salt water. The fuse-bonding coating process eliminates residual stresses in the coating inherent in the extrusion process used by other gabion types so the PVC retains its UV protection and prevents infiltration by water or other liquids and thus prevents any subsequent migration of those liquids along the core wire. The single wire strands of welded mesh cannot move at the joint so there is no internal wire abrasion to damage the coating.
PVC coated mesh is supplied in rolls of 0.99m wide x 91.44 length.
Gabion C Ringer
The Meihotech C Ring tool is one of the most reliable hog ringers available today. Made in Japan it will work where others fail. Highest quality, in stock always. This is a pneumatic tool and requires a compressor. Air consumption is relatively low at under 9.9 litres (0.7Mpa), increase compressor size if working at heights. The compressor needs to maintain a constant pressure of 90-100 psi for standard gabion C rings (Galfan coated mild steel), or 110 psi for stainless steel. Meihotech C ringers have a 12 month warranty. Service is provided by Permathene.
This C ringer is for gabion and uses C rings which are 3mm in diameter and 45mm at the widest point. For other C ringers (fencing, bird netting, shade cloth), see General Products section.
Meihotech model M-500 gabion C ringer
Gabion Construction Guides
Gabion walls can be constructed in a modular way. This is a continuous gabion wall without separate cages. You can either eliminate an end panel for each section or leave it in place. We prefer to leave it in place as it adds a great deal more strength to the wall system.
If you decide to eliminate a panel on each end you will still need internal diaphragms at least every metre. This can apply to the lids also but only if the cage above is the same size as the cage below. This is a slightly cheaper construction method. When building a modular gabion wall you will need to consider access behind the wall when connecting spirals. If constructing using gabion C rings this method is extremely easy as you will be able to construct separate cages outside of the work area and then join them together using C rings (C rings have an ID of up to 18mm).
The advantage of using separate cages is that they can be assembled outside the work area and then placed. Individual cages do not share any common connections (C rings or Spirals) and are simply placed up to each other.
Spirals are the strongest gabion connection method and require no tools apart from pliers to bend over the ends following assembly. To construct a cage using spirals first consider whether you want 1) separate cages slightly apart for aesthetics or 2) separate cages joined using a common spiral cage joiner or 3) cages joined together in a modular method (with no two panels joined together).
1) Separate cages
Note: Do not close the spiral ends until the cage is square with all panels (apart from lid).
The quickest way to construct a cage using spirals is to begin with an end panel and a back panel. Join this with a vertically placed spiral. Then connect the other end to this also using a vertically placed spiral. Continue until the frame is made with no top or bottom. Place diaphragm (middle panel for 2m length cages) with spirals. Attach a top panel. Ensure cage is square. At this point the spiral ends can be closed. Turn the cage upside down and put into place.
Stiffener placement and rock filling
Place the lower stiffeners (the number and orientation will depend upon cage size) 300mm from the bottom. The stiffeners ends should be closed.
Kitset Cage Construction
Kitset cages that are .5m wide or less and .5m high or less stiffeners are front to back as shown in the following diagrams. For cages that are larger the stiffener wires are placed in all corners, including at the diaphragm (centre panel) in cages of 2m. For cages that are .5m wide x .5m length (or less), stiffener wires are placed cross direction.
Gabion Wall Construction Specification
The work shall consist of supply, construction of cages and filling with rock.
Permathene Gabions shall consist of square or rectangular welded mesh constructed to form containers filled with rock. The gabion mesh supplied to site shall conform to ASTM 974-97. The weld shear strength is meet a minimum of 50% of wire tensile strength. The wire shall be mild steel coated with 280 gsm (min) Al 10%, Zn 90%. The wire shall have a tensile strength between 350-750 N/mm2.
All connections including spirals and stiffener wires shall be manufactured in Galfan coated mild steel to the same diameter as the mesh. C rings shall be Meihotech, Galfan coated, 3mm diameter, 45mm opening, tensile strength 1700-1900 N/mm2.
1) Foundation preparation
The foundation on which the gabions are to be placed shall be cut or filled and graded as required. Surface irregularities, loose material, vegetation, and all foreign matter shall be removed from foundation surface area. Gabions and bedding or specified geotextiles shall not be placed until the foundation preparation is completed, and the subgrade surfaces have been inspected and approved by the engineer or the engineer’s representative. Compaction of bedding or filter material will be required per plans and specifications. The surface of the finished material shall be to grade and free of mounds, dips or windrows. Extra care should be taken with foundation preparations in order to ensure a level and smooth surface. Geotextile shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the plans and specifications.
The assembly and placement of gabions shall be in accordance with the following procedures: Assembly. Rotate the gabion panels into position and join the vertical edges with fasteners for gabion assembly. Where spiral fasteners are used, crimp the ends to secure the spirals in place. Where C ring type alternate fasteners are used for basket assembly, install the fasteners at a maximum spacing of 150 mm. Use the same fastening procedures to install interior diaphragms where they are required. Interior diaphragms will be required where any inside dimension exceeds 1m for gabion baskets. Diaphragms will be installed to assure that no open intervals are present that exceeds 1m.
Place the empty gabions on the foundation and interconnect the adjacent gabions along the top, bottom, and vertical edges using spirals or C rings.
Gabion cages can be built in a modular method by eliminating an end panel for each cage so no two panels need be connected together. The same method may also be used for successive courses including lid and base panels. Interconnect each layer of gabions to the underlying layer of gabions along the front, back, and sides.
4) Filling operation
After adjacent empty wire gabion units are set to line and grade and common sides properly connected, they shall be placed in straight-line tension to gain a uniform alignment. Staking of the gabions may be done to maintain the established proper alignment prior to the placement of rock. No temporary stakes shall be placed through geotextile material. Connecting lacing wire and other fasteners (as allowed) shall be attached during the filling operation to preserve the strength and shape of the structure.
Internal connecting cross-tile (stiffener) wires shall be placed in each unrestrained gabion cell, including gabion cells left temporarily unrestrained. Two internal connecting wires shall be placed concurrently with rock placement, at each 300 mm interval of depth. In welded mesh gabions these crossties or stiffeners will be placed across the corners of the gabions (at 300 mm from the corners) providing diagonal bracing. Lacing wire or preformed wire stiffeners may be used.
The gabions shall be carefully filled with rock, either by machine or hand methods, ensuring alignment, avoiding bulges, and providing a compact mass that minimizes voids. At no point in the filling process may rock be mechanically placed from a height of over 1m from machine to fill area. Machine placement will require supplementing with handwork to ensure the desired results. The cells in any row shall be filled in stages so that the depth of rock placed in any one cell does not exceed the depth of rock in any adjoining cell by more than 300 mm. Along the exposed faces, the outer layer of stone shall be carefully placed and arranged by hand to ensure a neat, compact placement with a uniform appearance.
The last layer of rock shall be uniformly leveled to the top edges of the gabions. Lids shall be placed over the rock filling using only approved lid closing tools as necessary. The use of crowbars or other single point leverage bars for lid closing is prohibited due to the potential for damage to the baskets.
The gabion lid shall then be secured to the sides, ends, and diaphragms with spiral binders, approved alternate fasteners, or lacing wire wrapped with alternating single and double halfhitches in the mesh openings.
Any damage to the wire or coatings during assembly, placement and filling shall be repaired promptly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations or replaced with undamaged gabion baskets.
Reseller packs (Australian assembled) are available in most sizes. Each pack is wrapped, bar coded with instructions. Contact us.