What type of gabion is right for your project?

Whether you’re looking for an erosion control solution at your project or want to use them as an architectural element inside or outside a building, gabions have a lot to offer. They not only prevent soil erosion on coast lines but are also great at preventing landslides and washouts. You can use different types of gabion baskets to provide stream-bank stabilization or reinforce roadside slope erosion problems. You can also use them in constructing decorative and sound dampening fences for residential and commercial applications as well as use larger baskets for security and fire protection in a variety of applications including government and military.
Gabions easily blend with the local environment due to the ability to use locally sourced fill material. Because they can drain water easily, they are highly stable as a retaining structure. Because of the easy availability of a wide variety of aggregate as infill, designers rely on them for high quality urban and landscape architecture elements. By designing and constructing gabion baskets properly, they can meet both structural and architectural design criteria associated with a retaining wall.
But for the most effective use of gabions, you must select the right type of materials for constructing your gabions depending on the area of application and project-specific requirements. The most common materials include galvanized steel, stainless steel, raw steel, PVC coated steel, and copolymer plastic.
Below are different types of gabions and their specific applications in different environments:

Galvanized Steel Gabions
These gabions are constructed of either welded steel wire mesh or double twisted wire mesh that is hot dipped galvanized. Galvanized gabions show excellent results for protection against general exposure and are the most common type. Galvanized protection on gabion wires from zinc has proven to be an excellent general purpose option with its inherent corrosion resistance. They tend to have a useful life of around 25 years on average. However, the actual design life depends on many factors including water exposure, salinity and acidity of the soils and run-off, as well as environmental pollution.

PVC Coated Galvanized Steel Gabions
PVC coated gabions can be either welded wire mesh or double twisted woven mesh gabions. In both cases the steel core wires are fuse bonded with PVC coating after hot-dip galvanizing and applying primer. They make solid and rigid structures by providing excellent protection in extreme environments. The PVC coating layer provides added protection for use in environments where soil or water is acidic or polluted. The protective coating prevents the risk of corrosion and is ideal for retaining and erosion applications in freshwater.  

Stainless Steel Gabions
Without the need for any extra process, stainless steel gabions have great natural features and are available in both 304 and 316L Stainless Steel. Aesthetically, stainless steel gabions easily incorporate with architectural designs and are available in a range of wire diameters and mesh sizes depending on the aesthetic preference and the material that will be used as fill. They’re fire-resistant and don’t require extensive care. They are resistant to corrosion or rust throughout the wire instead of just having a coating on the exterior of the wire. For applications around the ocean or highly corrosive soil, marine-grade stainless steel gabion materials can greatly improve the project life but it should be mentioned all steel when exposed to saltwater for extended periods of time will eventually rust.  

Polypropylene Plastic Gabions
In contrast to conventional steel wire gabions, these UV-stabilized polypropylene gabions are a more affordable option that gives you long-term durability while allowing for flexibility in rough or uneven areas. PP marine gabions are non-reactive for the marine environment and are treated to maintain UV resistance. PP marine gabions are ideal for bodies of water where wave energy dissipation is needed to reinforce the shoreline. They also help in scour-protection and maintaining the integrity of structures close to the shoreline.  

Raw Steel Gabions
 If you are looking for an original rustic look for your project, raw steel gabions are cheap and readily available. While the patina they develop is very attractive due to the lack of coating on the steel the life span can be greatly dimenished depending on the severity of the environmental conditions. That is why these gabions are generally used in arid conditions or in applications where they are not exposed to large amounts of moisture. You can apply powder coating or a clear coat to increase the lifespan but this would require additional onsite maintenance.   
Time to call the experts!
Still don’t know what type of gabion would suit your job-site conditions? Don’t worry! We offer high-quality American made gabions in all of the above styles that are long-lasting and time-tested. We have years of experience in delivering different types of gabions for both specialized and typical applications.

Whether you require gabions for erosion control or a retaining wall or you are looking to undertake a new landscaping project, we have you covered. Call us now at 866.391.6291 or email us at info@gabionsupply.com. We can show you the best possible solution.