Deltalok Against Erosion

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Your first Deltalok project?
Welcome to Deltalok from AHS Ltd, the new UK home of the unique Deltalok system. We'll be updating this blog regularly with stories of successful projects using Deltalok in this country and abroad, practical how-tos and Q&As...plus some 'background stories' that provide a wider perspective on incorporating natural plant growth into construction and engineering projects.

If you found us by Googling, you were probably looking for a solution to a soil erosion problem. Deltalok can be used for all sorts of applications, but soil stability is definitely #1 on the list!

In this post, we'll take a brief look at what makes our product special - and how easy it can be to incorporate a Deltalok solution into your project. First, though, we'll review the basics of soil erosion.

 

Understanding erosion
It's common to see erosion around construction sites, but you can spot it anywhere that soil is disturbed. While erosion may occur through water or wind damage, or as a result of increased traffic, loss of natural vegetation is almost always a factor. Plants hold soil in place through their root growth. Deprived of plant cover, any bank or slope can turn into a mudslide.

Bank damaged by erosion 

Re-establishing natural cover can take years and, if a job has changed the 'lay of the land', new plant species may be needed to hold things together while the soil settles into its new position. Since few construction teams have the resources needed to deal with these issues, it's common to see landscaping features held together with concrete blocks - or worse!

 Unattractive concrete block wall

The Deltalok difference
Deltalok is an alternative way to deal with soil erosion... by harnessing the strength of growing plants. Deltalok is quick and easy to deploy -- and, when you walk away from your job, you can do so in the knowledge that your Deltalok build will get even stronger over the months and years to come! The basis of the patented Deltalok system is a geotextile (GTX) fabric bag. This looks and behaves a lot like woven nylon sacking, but it has a unique quality - it promotes plant growth! To build with Deltalok, you fill each bag with soil (you can usually use the soil excavated from the site) and add seeds of the plants you want to encourage.

Filling the Deltalok bags

Next, you build your structure, laying the bags in a running bond format, just as you would do with bricks or blocks. The twist is that you place interlocking plates - 'grippers' - between the bags to hold them together, pushing the bags down onto the spikes to ensure a firm connection.

Securing the bags to the interlocking plates

And that's it! A Deltalok structure has remarkable strength (as we'll see in forthcoming posts, it can build near-vertical structures). And, as those seeds take root and begin growing through the bags, it gets stronger and stronger.  After just a few months, the interconnecting root structures will have delivered a 'green wall' with a strength rivalling that of concrete - and better resistance to weathering.

Deltalok stream bank project after 3 months

In forthcoming posts, we'll be looking at more Deltalok applications and considering Deltalok construction methods in more detail.  Meanwhile, if you have queries about the Deltalok system - or stories to share - drop us a note at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..