The Uses of Gabion Stone

The Uses of Gabion Stone

Gabion baskets have been used for a long time period internationally and are preferred on government projects due to some of the following reasons;

  1. High strength – un-weathered rocks used within the gabion provide high compressive strength.
  2. Enhanced flexibility – woven steel wire mesh is used for the baskets, allowing movement over expansive soils without failure.
  3. Labor intensive – gabions use a lot of manpower, with little use of machinery required. Unskilled labor from local communities can be used and trained in a short time period.
  4. Low environmental impact – vegetation and plants/trees can be incorporated in the gabion system to cover the gabion or mattress protection in a short time.
  5. High porosity – gabions unlike concrete do not require weep-holes for water pressure release behind the retaining walls, they have a 35% pore space volume, allowing free movement of water through the walls, and soil fines movement are blocked with a geotextile filter fabric.
  6. Bomb and earthquake proof – gabion structures can provide protection for; bomb shelters and earthquakes, especially when filled with rock and soil due to their high flexibly/strength characteristics.
  7. Mattress linings – offer vegetation growth and the benefit of microorganisms within the structure to provide food for insects, fish and animals in river situations, unlike the environment created using a solid or segmented concrete lining with little environmental benefits.
  8. Simple – Local labor is used to erect baskets, and can be trained up in a short time period on site.
  9. In time – vegetative root growth will enhance the strength of the structure by binding the rocks together and stabilizing it with soil infill in streams.
  10. Economical – suitable rock infill and the use of local labor can be sourced from quarries and communities near the site.


Gabions have been around for over a hundred years and have a wide range of applications and new ones are continually being found. We have listed below the most common applications to date.

  • Mass – gravity retaining walls
  • Skin-reventment walls
  • Reinforced soil walls
  • Terrace walls
  • Channel lining
  • River training structures
  • Gabion weirs
  • Dam embankment protection
  • Roadway culvert in or outlet structures
  • Low-level or Irish crossings
  • Longitudinal river structures
  • Biofilters (Sewage Plants)
  • Hydrochambers (Water storage)
  • Rockfall mesh netting
  • River diversion structures
  • Mine – primary crusher walls
  • Architectural applications
  • Bridge abutment protection
  • Sound barriers
  • Standard sizes of Gabion and River Mattress Baskets