Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3597928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateSep 12, 1968
Priority dateDec 22, 1967
Also published asDE1813450A1
Publication numberUS 3597928 A, US 3597928A, US-A-3597928, US3597928 A, US3597928A
InventorsPilaar Jan Carel
Original AssigneePilaar Jan Carel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Erosion control
US 3597928 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Jan Carel Pilaar Boslaan 3, Warnsveld, Netherlands Appl. No. 759,263 Filed Sept. 12, 1968 Patented Aug. 10, 1971 Priority Dec. 22, 1967, Jan. 3, 1968, Jan. 23, 1968,

Mar. 20, 1968 Netherlands 6717542, 6800032. 6800961 and 6803917 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 564,167, July 11, 1966, now Patent No. 3,421,417.

EROSION CONTROL 26 Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.

0.8. (31... 61/38, 61/4 lnt.Cl E02b 3/14 Field of Search 61/37, 38, 4; 94/1 1 I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1911 Condie 61/38 Primary Examiner-David .1. Williamowsky Assistant Examiner-Philip C. Kannan Attorney-Tashof and Osheroff ABSTRACT: The invention relates to an erosion-controlling protective surfacing for the soil comprising flexible liquidpermeable supporting sheet means conforming to the contour of the soil and a mat of blocks on said supporting sheet means,

said mat having drainage passageways therethrough so that water can pass through the surfacing. Preferably, the surfacing includes filter means and the blocks are secured to the supporting sheet means.

Patented Aug. 10, 1911 3,597,928

3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Jinv CHREL P/L/MR Patented Aug. 10, 1971 3,597,928

3 Sheets-Sheet 3 IN VEN TOR Jim C/lREL Pan/IR W nrr 'UEYS Patented Aug. 10, 1971 3,597,928

3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR JAN CHREL /L/MR arr/vars EROSION CONTROL v j g This application is a continuation-impart ofmy'copendin application Ser. No. 564,167, flled July ll. 1966 now US. Pat. No. 3,421,417.

This invention is directed to controllingor preventing erosion of soil, and more particularly, it is directed to an erosioncontrolling protectivesurfacing forthe soil and a method of controlling soil erosion. v

in general, erosion control is directed to one or more of the following:

1. Prevention of good soil, such as arable, grazing or forestry soil or land from being washed away by water (water erosion), or from being blown away by wind (wind erosion).

2. Prevention of washing or blowing away of poor or uncultivatable soil and its deposition on good soil,.thereby causing illeffects on the good soil. l I

13. improvement, wherever possible, of poor, uncultivatablc and/or arid soil to render such soil usable for agricultural purposes.

4. Prevention of the silting up or cluttering of land or soil with soil brought-from other locations by water and maintaining desirable vertical drainage of the'soil.

5. Prevention of undesirable runoff of rain and surfacewater to obtaiii desirable absorption of such water in the soil, as well as judicious distribution of the water.

lap or jute netting on slopes (mostly one small scale): placing prefabricated or formed in situ asphalt membranes, facings,

' linings, or-revctments, use of rigid or flexible concrete revetments: use of riprap, dumped rubble, etc.

None of these methods is satisfactory. Chemical methods do not give sufficient mechanical strength and in the case of tor 6. Prevention of undesirable changes in the contour of the land caused by movement of the soil and water.

It will be appreciated, therefore. that control of soil erosion. encompasses or involves soil conservation, as well as con trolling ofwaterilow. v in nature, erosion is prevented largely by natural growth of vegetation. The roots or grasses, trees and other vegetation hold the particles of soil together so as toprevent soil move ment or erosion by wind and water. This also renders the. soil porous so that surface water can be absorbed and properly drained. The cover of leaves, twigs and other external growth and the partly humidified organic waste also serve to control flow of surface water' to produce a proper distribution and absorption of water as well as prevention of erosion. in the course of time,the vegetation decomposes to form humus, a valuable part of the soil for storing and dispersing water, food and oxygen for the vegetable matter, as well as providing anchorage for vegetation.

Bare land or land poorly covered with vegetation is partlcurential rains the protective layer is easily washed away. The burlap and jute methods, because of the light weight of the fabric are easily understreamed. Nylon matting'is similarly understreamed,'although in some cases reasonable results are obtained by weighing these with riprap, but the matting does not have sufficient strength to withstand the sharp edges of the stones and becomes torn.

Riprap and dumped rubble, usually in the form of a graded filter construction, have the disadvantages of not being readily available everywhere, are difficult to keep in place, are high in maintenance costs, and are never really soil retaining. Asphalt.

and concrete constructions of the impermeable type are costly because of the necessary weight and thickness to withstand hydrostatic pressure and even when weep holes are provided, cracks and ruptures frequently appear suddenly. It is difficult in this type of construction to include structure for slowing down current of flowing surface water and/or further sedimentation.

There is currently in use what is called a flexible concretemattress for riverbank revetments, as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos.

- not satisfactory. it is well known that in such constructions,

; larly subject to erosion, especially during torrential rains and excess water washes away this thin layer. Erosion always occurs in nature even in areas untouched by man, but in the those areas the erosion is not necessarily as serious because of the balanced situation occurring in nature. Man destroys this balance of nature by cutting down forests, overgrazing the land,'burning, and, in general, by destroying the natural protective crop cover and this disturbance of the natural balance has caused large areas of originally good soil to become useless because of erosion.

Many attempts have been made to control erosion by various means. One approach-is. to imitate nature as much as possible by sowing plants, bushes andother vegetation. At-

when a crack appears in an individual slab there is tremendous erosion. Since there is no provision for the equalization of hydrostatic pressure, the entire mattress can be picked up by the .currents. Neither is there a specific device to augment sedimentation and/or slow down currents When dealing with erosion, l have found that erosion can be successfully controlled and often eliminated by applying to the surface of the ground a protective surfacing having the following characteristics:

l. The surfacing should be'sufiiciently flexible to form to the contour of the underlying soil and form a good contact therewith, thereby preventing understreaming.

2. The surfacing should have sufficient strength and weight properties to prevent displacement of the elements thereof by heavy water currents or wave action and such properties can be supplied by the weight of the elements.

3. The surfacing should permit the passage of surface water into the underlying soil, that drainage.

4. Means should be provided to permit the passage of water upwardly from beneath 'the surfacing to release hydrostatic pressure formed underneath the surfacing. This is of particular importance on dikes and riverbanks, since hydrostatic presa sure can cause great damage (slip erosion).

. growth of vegetation through the surfacing, so that the vegetution can assist in the prevention of erosion, or in many applications. eventually take over the entire job of erosion control, so that the originally applied surfacing is only temporary.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided an erosion-controlling protective surfacing applied to the soil, said surfacing comprising flexible liquid-permeable supporting sheet means conforming to the contour of the soil is, maintain good vertical and a mat of blocks on said supporting sheet means, said mat being constituted by a plurality of blocks in a side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement. said mat having drainage passageways therethrough extending from an upper surface of said mat to the bottom surface thereof to provide communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet means whereby liquid can pass, in either direction, between said upper surface and the soil through said supporting sheet means and said mat. According to the preferred embodiment, this surfacing includes filter means and means for securing the blocks to the supporting sheet means.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided an erosion-controlling protective surfacing to be applied to the soil to prevent erosion thereof, comprising flexible liquid-permeable supporting sheet means positionable on the soil and a plurality of blocks in a side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement superposed on said supporting sheet means forming a mat of blocks thereon, each of said blocks being secured to said supporting sheet means, said mat having drainage passageways therethrough extending from an upper surface thereof to the bottom surface thereof to provide communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet means whereby, when said assembly is applied to the soil, liquid can pass in either direction between said upper surface and the soil through said supporting sheet means and said mat, said assembly being sufficiently flexible to conform to the contour of said soil. According to a preferred aspect of the invention, the surfacing includes filter means.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of controlling erosion of soil by applying thereover an erosion controlling protective surfacing, comprising applying to the soil flexible liquid-permeable supporting sheet means conforming to the contour of the soil and positioning thereover a plurality of blocks in a side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement to form a mat of blocks on said supporting sheet means, said mat having drainage I passageways therethrough extending from an upper surface thereof to the bottom surface thereof to provide communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet means whereby liquid can pass in either direction between said upper surface and the soil through said supporting sheet means and said mat. Preferably, filter means is also provided and the blocks are secured to the supporting sheet means.

These and other aspects of the invention will be readily apparent from the following description in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FlG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of the surfacing of the invention, showing only one block secured to a supporting sheet;

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of the structure of FIG. 1, but shows a plurality of blocks, one being shown in detail and the remainder in phantom;

FlG. 3 schematically shows one manner in which blocks are secured to the supporting sheet and shows the manner in which adjacent assemblies are positioned on the soil;

HO. 4 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention, showing a different form of block;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic cross section showing another manner in which the blocks are secured to the supporting sheet;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing one manner in which adjacent assemblies may be secured to each other;

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing an embodiment ofthe invention showing two supporting sheets;

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing an embodiment ofthe invention showing three supporting sheets;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing another embodiment where there are two layers of blocks;

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic crosssectional view showing an embodiment where there are sheets on both sides of the mat of blocks.

In this application the word soil" will be used in a broad sense to mean particles of the type which make up the earth, whether such particles constitute arable, good soil or poor, uncultivatable soil, and includes such materials as sand, since frequently the ground which is to be protected is essentially sand.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, according to one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a supporting-sheet means 10 which, in this embodiment, is shown as a net. Superposed on net 10 in a side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement are a plurality of blocks B, for convenience only one block being shown in FIG. 1, FlG. 2 showing a plurality of blocks with only one block being shown in detail, the others being shown in phantom. Each block or element or module B, in this embodiment, is generally square, having a substantially flat bottom so that the bottom will make substantially continuous contact with the upper surface of sheet 10. Through the center of the block there is a vertical, longitudinal channel 12, circular in cross section. On each side of the block, substantially in the center thereof, there are semicircular, longitudinal channels l4 and on each corner of the block there are vertical quarter circular vertical channels 16.

Across the upper surface of blocks B there are horizontally disposed grooves 18 and 20, the grooves intersecting channels 14 at the sides of the block. Also in the top surface of the block there are grooves 22 and 24 along the edges, said grooves intersecting side channels 14 and corner channels 16.

When the blocks B are positioned in a side-by-side abutting relationship, as shown in FIG. 2, the vertical channels around the periphery of one block cooperate with the vertical channels on an adjacent block to form enclosed channels. For example, half channels 14 on adjacent blocks form full channel 26 and quarter channels 16 at the corners of adjacent blocks form or define full channel 28. It will be appreciated that the side-by-side arrangement of blocks B define a mat of blocks and that the channels in the blocks, either by themselves or when cooperating with channels of adjacent blocks, define passageways through the mat of blocks extending from an upper surface of the mat to the bottom surface, thereby providing communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet 10, whereby liquid can pass in either direction between said upper surface and the supporting sheet.

In the construction illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the sheet 10 extends in two adjacent directions from the mat of blocks to form along two edges of the assembly margins 30 and 32 where there are no blocks. Although these margins are not essential, they are convenient when placing the assembly of blocks on the ground, as shown in FIG. 3. ln FIG. 3 there are shown several assemblies of sheet 10 and blocks B as used according to the invention. When utilizing the assembly of the invention the surface of the ground or soil to be protected is prepared in any convenient manner to receive the assemblies, that is, the ground is graded to provide the desirable contour. On the prepared ground or soil S there is then positioned an assembly comprising sheet 10 and blocks B. Adjacent thereto there is positioned another assembly of blocks B on sheet 10 with the outer row of blocks B of the second assembly being positioned on the margin 30 of sheet 10 so that the adjacent blocks B and B of the adjacent assemblies substantially abut. in this manner there is provided beneath the layers of the blocks a substantially continuous overlapping supporting sheet.

Each of the blocks of each assembly is secured to its supporting sheet by any desirable means and two such means are shown in FIG. 3. THe blocks B are secured to sheet 10 by means of adhesive 33 interposed between the bottom of blocks B and sheet 10, either in spaced-apart locations, as shown in FIG. 3, or coextensively with the bottom of each block B (not shown). Alternatively, instead of using adhesive securing means, the blocks can be secured to their supporting sheet by means of mechanical fasteners such as nails 34 which secure blocks B to sheet 10'. Although in FIG. 3 the blocks of the two assemblies are shown secured to their respective supporting sheets by. different means, it will be appreciated that normally in any one job similar securi'ngmeans are used to secure the blocks tothe supporting sheets. Although FIG. 3 onlyshows two assemblies on the soil, it'will be appreciated that as many assemblies are used as are necessary to cover the I ground which is to be protected; Other securing means can be used to secure the blocks to their supporting sheets, as will be hereinafter described. a It is readily apparent that although the blocks in the mat of blocks abut each other, the blocks are free to move a small amount in vertical direction and this results in the entire assembly of blocks and supporting sheet means as being flexible .andable to conform to the contour of the soil on which the assembly'is positioned. lt is also'apparent that. the assembly need not be made onthe job, but can be prefabricated and shipped to the job; in this manner it is simple to grade and substantially smooth the surface of the soil andapply thereto the assembly, of blocks. and supporting sheet means. This can be done in a facile manner, using a minimum of skilled labor. In fact, most of the labor can be relatively unskilledi When the assembly is appliedto the soil it readilyconforms thereto. Any surface water which flows over the top of the mat of blocks, either from streams or rainwater, can readily flow through the passageways to be absorbed and distributed in the soil below. The roughened contour of the upper surface of the mat, by

virtue of the grooves in the blocks, serves to impede the, flow of water, further assisting in the vertical drainage of the soil.

lf, because of' the conditions in which-the surfacing is applied, the' hydrostatic pressure beneath the mat of blocks increases, such pressure is readily relieved by the water flowing upwardly through the passageways. ln theeven there is asmall amount of understreaming or other conditions which cause the underlying soilto move upwardly or downwardly, the mat or, in some cases, individual blocks, can move upwardly or v downwardly to conform to the contour of the underlying soil,

thereby-preventing further understreaming.

' The supportingsheet means lihas thus far been described asa net. This sheetcan be made of any desirablematerial,

such as perforated flexible foil or sheet or fabric of metal or plastic or any other sheet which is permeable to liquid. For example, it can be made of metal screening, metal net,expanded f its strength; ease of handling and resistance to deterioralt'will be appreciated that supporting sheetmeans supports and in'areaswhere'the'blocks comprise a wear surface for the blockswhen the assembly is placed'on the groundand also may support the matof blocks if the assembly is prefabricated.

According to a-preferred construction, the supporting sheet' means comprises filter means. For. example, in the embodiment shown in N65. l3, the sheet l0-can have its waterpermeable openings therethroughof such a dimension that it will permit the passage of liquid therethrough but will substantially prevent the passage the'rethroughof particles of soil and z in this application the words filter or filtersheet" will referto anelemenbwhich is permeable to liquid but substantially impermeable to soilfparticles. When sheet 10, therefore, has

the'openingsatherethroughto constitute such sheet as af1ltersheet, water flowing upwardly from the oil-through the protectivesurfacing will'not carry along with it the particles of soiLnObviously, this, prevents the formation of .areasgbeneath the protective surfacing devoid of soil which is a cause of'understreaming. It therefore can be said, when the supporting nature ofth'e conditions inmwhich the surfacing is used.

vehicles the blocks should have high compressive strength. In areas where there is a heavy movement of surface water, such as revetments for dikes,v canals and waterways and for streambed protection the blocks are preferably made of high other vegetation will grow inthese passageways. To accelerate such growth it can be desirable to at least partially fill the passageways with vegetation-growth-producing materials such as fertilizer, soil, seed, bacteria, fungi, weedkiller, etc. In many cases however it' is merely sufficient to place soil in the passageways, whereupon natural vegetation follows.

Ultimately, therefore, the vegetation will fill up the passageways. This vegetationserves as an additional primary filter means for regulating' the vertical drainage and serves to maintain the blocks in position. In fact, in many locations, because of the protected environment created by the blocks, the vegetation can flourish and ultimately there will be sufficient vegetation to take over the entire job of erosion control. In such locations it may not be necessary for the blocks and/or. the supporting sheet means to be permanent, since they merely have to last only until the vegetation takes over. In such locations the sheet 10'can be made of material which will deteriorate in time, ascan the blocks; In such locations the blocks can even be made of such organic materials as compressed compost or even compressed garbage, since the blocks only need to last sufficiently long for the vegetation to take over. The blocks can deteriorate under the influence of light, weather, or other climatic phenomena.

lh order to assist in the even absorption of water through the protective surfacing, the blocks can even be made of porous materials which'help the absorption of the surface water and and'2 0are spaced from edges of the block. All the grooves intersect, with the intersections of grooves 22 and 24 being at the corners of the block and with the intersections of grooves 22, 24and l8, 20"being at the'edges of the block, and with the intersection of grooves 1'8 and 20being spaced from the edges ofthe block. Each of the channels l2, l4 and 16 extends from the bottom of a groove in'tersection'through the bottom surface of the block. In this'way water in any of the grooves will always be able to flow into a channel. Furthermore, vegetation growing in a-channel orpassageway will always be able to be bent into a groove when a vehicle passesover the tops of the blocks. Since the vegetation bends into the grooves, such vegetation is not cut by the abrasive action of the vehicles against theupper extremities of the blocks. Preferably, in order to avoid'cutting the vegetation, the upper edges of the grooves'are rounded.

It will be appreciated, therefore, that broadly, the block shown inFlGS. l and 2' hasa' substantially flat bottom surface,

an upper surface, and at least two intersecting grooves extending' in the plane of the upper surface, at least one of said grooves beingspaced from the edges of the block, and at least one channel extending from the bottom of the intersection of said grooves through said bottom surface. The channels define passageways for the passage of water. Vegetation may grow in the passageways. Preferably, there are one or more channels on the periphery of the block so that when the blocks are assembled in their ultimate location, channels from adjacent blocks together define closed channels or passageways.

Although, in FIG. 1 and 2, the blocks have been shown as square, they obviously may have other shapes, such as rectangular (not shown) or hexagonal (not shown). The blocks may be assembled in a side-by-side arrangement, as shown in FIG. 1 and 2, or in any other arrangement conventionally used for blocks or bricks, that is, a zigzag arrangement, diagonal arrangement, etc. Although preferably the blocks are arranged so that the channels of one block cooperate with the channels of an adjacent block to form enclosed channels, it will be appreciated that even when a channel on the periphery of one block is adjacent a flat side portion of an adjacent block, there still will be produced. enclosed channels which act as passageways.

By way of example of dimensions, excellent results have been obtained with a concrete block wherein the height is 10 cm.; length and width, cm.; width of grooves 18 and 20, 5.2 cm.; width of grooves 22 and 24', 2.6 cm.; depth of grooves 20 and 24, 2.8 cm.; depth of grooves 18 and 22, L4 cm.; radius of channel 12, 2.5 cm. The radius of the enclosed channels formed by the abutting channels of adjacent blocks is about 3.3 cm. These dimensions, obviously, can be varied, depending on the conditions. It is noted that channels 20 and 24 are deeper than channels 18 and 22. This is an optional feature which can be used where it is desirable to direct the flow of water more in one direction than in another direction. It will also be appreciated that the order of the width of a channel does not substantially exceed the order of the width of the groove where the two of them intersect. These relative widths serve to prevent vegetation growing in the channels from being abraded by vehicular traffic. The width of the channel determines the width of the vegetation growing therein and, obviously, if the width of a channel is less than the width of a groove, substantially all of the vegetation growing in a channel can bend into a groove. On the other hand, if the order of the width of the channel substantially exceeds the order of the width of the groove, a substantial amount of the vegetation growing in said channel will not be able to bend into the groove and will be subject to being cut off by vehicular traffic.

The blocks are not bonded to each other along their sides as are bricks when bricks are laid in a pattern. The blocks are therefore somewhat free to move to a small extent relative to each other in a vertical direction. Nevertheless, since the blocks abut, such movement is restricted by mechanical or frictional forces, but the abutment is sufficient to prevent lateral movement of the blocks which would ultimately result in block being forced out of the mat with consequent destruction ofthe protective surfacing.

As illustrated, the peripheries of the blocks are such that although the blocks abut each other, passageways still are provided between adjacent blocks for the passage of liquid through the mat of blocks.

The size and number ofpassageways will, of course, depend upon the volume of water to be handled by the protective surfacing and in many locations it is unnecessary to provide the central channel 12 or, in fact, any other channel in the body of the block, other than those formed on the periphery.

When the surfacing is applied in a location where there will be no vehicular traffic along the tops ofthe blocks, such as in a streambed or on a slope ofa stream or dike, it is not necessary to provide the upper surface of the blocks with the grooves, provided it is not imperative for slowing down currents and/or sedimentation. In such cases each block can have a substantially flat top and this embodiment is shown in FIG. 4, wherein blocks 5" have substantially flat tops and bottoms and are secured to supporting sheet 10", the mat of blocks having the passageways therethrough for the flow of water, as in the previously described embodiments. Blocks B" are secured to supporting sheet 10" in the manner as was described in connection with the previously described embodiments.

It will be appreciated that in any particular installation different types of blocks can be used side by side. For example, if the protective surfacing is to be applied in a streambed, along the bank of the stream where there is no vehicular traffic and on a road adjacent the bank where there is vehicular traffic, the blocks in the streambed and along the bank can have the construction shown in FIG. 4, while the roadway can have the blocks shown in FIG. 1. In a similar manner, since vegetation would not normally grow in the passageways of the surfacing of the streambed, that surfacing should be of a permanent nature. On the other hand, the surfacing on the bank where vegetation may grow rather quickly and would not be subject to damage by vehicular traffic, the protective surfacing may be of a relatively temporary nature, as previously described, having to last only sufficiently long enough for the vegetation growing in the passageways to take over the job of erosion control. This clearly illustrates the versatility and adaptability of the present invention to various problems of erosion control.

When the blocks are bonded to the supporting sheet by adhesive, any suitable adhesive can be used. Excellent results are obtained using synthetic resins, although in many cases bitumen and other adhesives can be used. Instead of using such mechanical or penetrating fasteners, such as nails 34, as shown in FIG. 3, obviously fasteners such as staples (not shown) can be used. Another form of penetrating fastening means which can be used can loosely be called sewing," as shown in FIG. 5, where blocks B are secured on supporting sheet 10 by passing or intertwining cord, cable or wire 36 through the channels in the blocks and the sheet 10.

It is frequently desirable to secure one assembly of blocks to an adjacent assembly and this can be done, for example, in the manner shown in FIG. 6. One'assembly is placed on the soil, the next assembly is placed adjacent thereto on the margin 30, and a U-shaped clamp or staple 38 has its branches 40 pass through the passageways of adjacent blocks and the ends of the branches are bent as shown at 42.

In the embodiments thus far described the supporting sheet means has been shown as a single sheet. However, this may comprise a plurality of sheets, two of which sheets 44 and 46, one superposed on the other being shown in FIG. 7 and three sheets 48, 50 and 52, superposed on each other, being shown in FIG. 8. In those locations where it is not necessary to use a filter sheet, either because of the soil and/or water conditions or because the vegetation growing in the passageways serves as the filter, both sheets 44 and 46 serve not only to hold the blocks together during shipment, but more importantly, serve to maintain the blocks in place on the soil. In such instances, sheets 44 and 46 are merely selected for the strength characteristics and the size of the water-permeable openings therethrough is immaterial. However, where filtering action is desired, either sheet 44 or sheet 46, or both, may have their pores or openings of such a size that either or both of the sheets act as a filter sheet. In a similar manner any one, two or three of sheets 48, 50 or 52 can be a filter sheet, or any one, two or three can serve merely as a supporting sheet. It is emphasized that any one or all of the sheets can have sufficient strength to provide for the mechanical support of the blocks and at the same time have pores or openings sufficiently small to serve as a filter sheet.

An excellent advantage of the structures shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is that the filter sheet, if it is relatively weak, such as felted mat, can be positioned between the blocks and a stronger sheet on the other side thereof. In some constructions, where the weight of the blocks is sufficient to keep the assembly in place, all of the supporting sheets, or a single one if only one is used, can be of relatively little strength and can serve primarily as filter sheets.

It has been found that synthetic mesh (whether made by weaving, knitting, netting, extrusion or bonding of synthetic filaments) is excellent material for use as one or more of the sheets, since not only can the pores be sufficiently small for the sheet to act as a filter sheet, but these synthetic meshes have excellent strength characteristics so that such sheet can give the appropriate mechanical support.

' sheet will therefore vary somewhat, depending on the granularity of the soil. For most applications it has been found that satisfactory filtration is obtained when the average diameters of the openings or pores through the filter sheet do not exceed about'250 microns, although in many cases average diameters as large as l mm. are satisfactory. When any of the sheets are to be of a relatively temporary nature, any sort of fabric, such as burlap, hemp, sisal, permeable kraft paper, etc., can

be used either in their natural forms or impregnated with materials such as asphalt.

' In FIG. 9 there is shown aconstruction where there are two mats of blocks, one over the other with supporting sheet means 54 between the mats. Such construction is useful where an especially strong and heavy construction is necessary.

In FIG. 10 there is shown a construction wherein there is a sheet 56 beneath the blocks B and a sheet 58 above the blocks B. This construction at times facilitates the prefabrication and handling of the assemblies for delivery onto the job. Sheet 56 while sheet 58 would be more or less temporary in nature, to be destroyed by the element or by vegetation growing in the passageways in the mat of blocks.

In all the embodiments shown in FIG. 6 through 10, the blocks may have the structure as described in any of the other embodiments and the blocks may be united to the various sheets by adhesives or mechanical fastening means as previously described.

According to the preferred embodiment, the blocks are assembled and fastened on the supporting sheets before being laid onthe soil. Such assemblies maybe delivered to the mob as sheets or in rolls and on the job it will only be necessary to grade the soil and. place the assemblies thereover. In the case of rolls, in order to maintain abutted arrangement of the blocks after unrolling, it is of course advisable to at least partially bevel the sides of the abutting blocks. After the assemblies are placed on the soil the passageways therein can be at least partially filled with vegetation-growth-producing materials to assist in the start or maintenance of the vegetation. In some cases, especially when using porous blocks, either the pores of the blocks or the passageways can be at least partially filled with such materials prior to placing the assemblies on thesoil.

. filter, preventing movement of the particles of the soil from beneath the surfacing to the exterior.

In all the embodiments described thus far the blocks are fastened to the supporting sheet means. Occasionally the conditions of the soil are such that it is not necessary to fasten the blocks to the supporting sheet means. In such cases the protective surfacing can be laid down completely in situ by first applying to the soil one or moreof the sheets which in such cases would generally be filter sheets, and then placing the blocks thereover and lastly at least partially filling the passageways with vegetation growth-promoting materials.

It will thus be appreciated that the erosion-controlling surfacingfof the present invention is useful in hydraulic engineering where the main problem is erosion caused by water, such as in dikes, canals, waterways and streambeds; in agriculturalengineering,.wherein it is merely desirable to obtain temporary erosion control until vegetation takes over; and in road engineering, such as pavements for medians and shoulders, recreational areas, etc., where there is vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic.

Iclaim:

1. An erosion-controlling protective surfacing'applied to the soil, said surfacing comprising flexible liquid-permeable sup porting sheet means conforming to the contour of the soil and a mat of blocks on said supporting sheet means, said mat being constituted by a plurality of blocks in side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement, means securing each of said blocks to said sheet-supporting means, said mat having can be the principal mechanical support and/or filter sheet,

drainage passageways therethrough extending from an upper surface of said mat to the bottom surface thereof to provide communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet means whereby liquid can pass, in either direction, between said upper surface and the soil through said supporting sheet means and said mat, no portion of any block overlying any portion of any block adjacent thereto so that each block can move vertically relative to each block adjacent thereto.

2. A surfacing according to claim 1, including filter means.

3. A surfacing according to claim 2, wherein said filter means comprises vegetation growing in said passageways.

4. A surfacing according to claim 2, wherein said filter means is a filter'sheet beneath said mat of blocks.

5. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein said securing means comprises an adhesive.

6. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein said securing means comprises penetrating fastener means.

7. A surfacing according to claim I, wherein said supporting sheet means comprises a plurality of sheets.

8. A surfacing according to claim I, wherein said supporting sheet means includes at least one filter sheet.

9. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein said supporting sheet means includes at least one sheet of synthetic mesh.

10. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein there is another mat of blocks beneath said supporting sheet means.

11. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein there is a sheet secured to the top surface of the mat of blocks.

12. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein the periphery of each of said blocks is so shaped that portions of the peripheries of the blocks are spaced apart from portions of peripheries of adjacent blocks, such spaced-apart peripheries defining said passageways.

13. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein each block has a bottom surface and an upper surface and at least two intersecting grooves extending in the plane of said upper surface, at least one of said grooves being spaced from the edges of said block, and at least one channel extending from the bottom of the intersection of said grooves through said bottom surface, the channels of said blocks defining said passageways.

14-. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein each block has a bottom surface and an upper surface and at least two intersecting grooves extending in the plane of said upper surface, at least one of said grooves being spaced from the edges of said block, and at least one channel extending from the bottom of the intersection of said grooves through said bottom surface, the channels of said blocks defining said passageways.

15. A surfacing according to claim 1, wherein said surfacing includes vegetation-growth-producing material.

16. An erosion-controlling protective surfacing to be applied to the soil to prevent erosion thereof, comprising a flexible liquid-permeable supporting sheet means positionable on the soil and a plurality of blocks in a side-by-side substantially abutting arrangement superposed on said supporting sheet means forming a mat of blocks thereon, each of said blocks being secured to said supporting sheet means, said mat having drainage passageways thereth'rough extending from an upper surface thereof to the bottom surface thereof to provide communication from said upper surface to said supporting sheet means whereby, when said assembly is applied to the soil, liquid can pass in eitherdirection between said upper surface and the soil through said supporting sheet means and said mat, said assembly being sufficiently flexible to conform to the contour of said soil, no portion of any block overlying any portion of any block adjacent thereto so that each block can move vertically relative to each block adjacent thereto.

17. A surfacing assembly according to claim 16, including filter means.

18. A surfacing according to claim 17, wherein said filter means is a filter sheet beneath said mat of blocks.

19. A surfacing according to claim 18, wherein said filter means comprises at least one filter sheet positioned beneath said mat of blocks.

20. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein said supporting sheet means comprises a plurality of sheets.

21. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein said supporting sheet means includes at least one filter sheet.

22. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein said supporting sheet means includes at least one sheet of synthetic means.

23. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein there is a sheet secured to the top surface of the mat of blocks.

24. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein the periphery of each of said blocks is so shaped that portions of the peripheries of the blocks are spaced apart from portions of peripheries of adjacent blocks, such spaced-apart peripheries defining said passageways.

25. A surfacing according to claim 16, wherein each block has a bottom surface and an upper surface and at least two intersecting grooves extending in the plane of said upper surface, at least one of said groove being spaced from the edges of said block, and at least one channel extending from the bottom of the intersection of said grooves through said bottom surface, the channels of said blocks defining said passageways.

26. A surfacing surfacing according to claim 16, wherein each block has a bottom surface and an upper surface and at least two intersecting grooves extending in the plane of said upper surface, at least one of said grooves being spaced from the edges of said block, and at least one channel extending from the bottom of the intersection of said grooves through said bottom surface, the channels of said blocks defining said passageways.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US984121 *Jun 11, 1910Feb 14, 1911 Revetment-mattress.
US1834060 *Jun 22, 1929Dec 1, 1931Woods Brothers Construction CoRiver bed protective construction
US1991196 *Feb 5, 1932Feb 12, 1935Deer Atlee CBituminous concrete revetment
US2158685 *Feb 10, 1938May 16, 1939Barker Jesse WBack draft vent for ranges
US3176468 *Feb 27, 1962Apr 6, 1965Takashi TakadaBlock for absorbing water flow energy
US3210944 *Nov 9, 1962Oct 12, 1965Svee Hallbjorn RoaldProtective layer on slope of moles and breakwaters
US3344609 *Oct 23, 1959Oct 3, 1967Carthage Mills IncPrevention of beach erosion and encouragement of land restoration
US3421417 *Jul 11, 1966Jan 14, 1969Pilaar Jan CarelPavement
FI23994A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3922865 *Sep 10, 1973Dec 2, 1975Aannemers Comb ZinkwerkeMattress, method of sinking a mattress and vessel suitable for use in said method
US3990247 *Jan 21, 1975Nov 9, 1976Palmer Robert QSystem of structures to resist hydrodynamic forces
US4002034 *Jun 25, 1975Jan 11, 1977Walter MuhringMatting for the prevention of hydraulic erosion
US4067196 *Oct 9, 1975Jan 10, 1978Paul SchraudenbachDecorative stone
US4067197 *Jul 20, 1976Jan 10, 1978Paul RitterMeans for stabilizing soil
US4080793 *Apr 10, 1975Mar 28, 1978Pulsifer Ernest KMethod and apparatus for using automotive tires as earth engineering devices
US4172680 *Dec 28, 1977Oct 30, 1979Douglas Neil FosterArmour unit for wave energy absorption
US4227829 *Nov 29, 1978Oct 14, 1980Landry Jr Kossuth JSoil erosion prevention blocks
US4362432 *Mar 3, 1980Dec 7, 1982Conover Maria TFluid wave energy dissipating and absorbing structure
US4370075 *Oct 28, 1980Jan 25, 1983Nicolon CorporationRevetment grids and mats
US4375928 *Aug 14, 1980Mar 8, 1983Crow Robert QFlexible concrete for soil erosion prevention
US4479740 *May 6, 1982Oct 30, 1984Paul A. KakurisMethod of protecting a shoreline from erosion
US4834575 *Mar 23, 1987May 30, 1989Barth GuentherPaving stone
US4896996 *Jan 23, 1989Jan 30, 1990Mouton William JWave actuated coastal erosion reversal system for shorelines
US4978247 *Feb 27, 1987Dec 18, 1990Lenson Walter JErosion control device
US4998844 *Jan 30, 1990Mar 12, 1991Charles C. Garvey, Jr.Wave actuated coastal erosion reversal system for shorelines
US5102048 *Aug 31, 1990Apr 7, 1992Bohnhoff William WIrrigation head support
US5107629 *Apr 11, 1991Apr 28, 1992The Celotex CorporationTexturing of acoustical mineral fiberboard with wheel blast machine
US5108222 *Sep 11, 1990Apr 28, 1992Jansson Jan EArticulated, predominantly concrete mat
US5123778 *Sep 26, 1990Jun 23, 1992Bohnhoff William WMethod of paving
US5250340 *Sep 9, 1991Oct 5, 1993Bohnhoff William WMat for stabilizing particulate materials
US5256007 *Jun 21, 1991Oct 26, 1993Robert ImhoffGround support system
US5632888 *May 11, 1995May 27, 1997Dandy Enterprises LimitedEnvironmental filter
US5702208 *Jan 16, 1996Dec 30, 1997Hilfiker; William K.Grid-locked block panel system
US5779391 *Nov 19, 1996Jul 14, 1998Keystone Retaining Wall Systems, Inc,For use in a revetment system
US5820305 *Jun 13, 1997Oct 13, 1998Taylor; Thomas P.T-block wall system
US5823709 *Oct 15, 1996Oct 20, 1998The Tensar CorporationInterconnected block system
US5848511 *Jan 21, 1997Dec 15, 1998Scales; John M.Blocks for constructing low-rise ornamental wall and method
US5911539 *Dec 11, 1996Jun 15, 1999The Tensar CorporationInterconnected block system
US5988942 *Mar 11, 1997Nov 23, 1999Stewart Trustees LimitedErosion control system
US6010622 *Dec 2, 1997Jan 4, 2000Dandy Enterprises LimitedEnvironmental filter
US6158922 *Mar 5, 1999Dec 12, 2000Fernandez; Jorge L.Sand trap for erosion control
US6551505Nov 29, 1999Apr 22, 2003Dandy Enterprises, LimitedEnvironmental filter
US6811352 *May 14, 1997Nov 2, 2004Den Boer Beton Groot Ammers B.V.Revetment for a bank
US7144201Mar 25, 2004Dec 5, 2006Dearmond Jr Thomas HStructure and method for supporting headstones and other stonelike objects
US7210876May 20, 2005May 1, 2007National Diversified Sales, Inc.Rollable load bearing mat for turf areas
US7326000 *Mar 29, 2004Feb 5, 2008Kang-San LeeBlock for embankment
US7452165Jun 25, 2003Nov 18, 2008Tyler Rodney WContainment systems, methods, and devices
US8393829Jan 8, 2010Mar 12, 2013T&B Structural Systems LlcWave anchor soil reinforcing connector and method
US8439607Jul 17, 2007May 14, 2013Filtrexx International, LlcContainment systems, methods, and devices
US8496411Jan 24, 2011Jul 30, 2013T & B Structural Systems LlcTwo stage mechanically stabilized earth wall system
US8621740 *Jul 7, 2008Jan 7, 2014Koninklijke Bam Groep N.V.Water-retaining element, system and method for forming a temporary water-retaining structure
US8632277Apr 8, 2010Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcRetaining wall soil reinforcing connector and method
US8632278Jul 15, 2010Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcMechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US8632279Sep 22, 2010Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcSplice for a soil reinforcing element or connector
US8632280Apr 27, 2012Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcMechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US8632281Apr 27, 2012Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcMechanically stabilized earth system and method
US8632282Jun 17, 2010Jan 21, 2014T & B Structural Systems LlcMechanically stabilized earth system and method
US8734059Jan 24, 2011May 27, 2014T&B Structural Systems LlcSoil reinforcing element for a mechanically stabilized earth structure
US8821076 *May 17, 2007Sep 2, 2014Conwed Plastics Acquisition Company V LlcDevices, systems and methods for controlling erosion
US8858118Mar 28, 2013Oct 14, 2014Waskey Bridges, Inc.Erosion control mat system
US20100186216 *Jul 7, 2008Jul 29, 2010Koninklijke Bam Groep N.V.Water-retaining element, system and method for forming a temporary water-retaining structure
EP0021532A1 *Jun 18, 1980Jan 7, 1981Robutel B.V.Method of manufacturing a ground coating and semi-product for the same
EP0050904A1 *Oct 28, 1981May 5, 1982Nicolon B.V.Revetment grids and mats
WO1981003514A1 *May 27, 1980Dec 10, 1981Landry KSoil erosion prevention blocks
WO1998021413A1 *Oct 28, 1997May 22, 1998Atkinson Frank SErosion control system
WO2008084036A1Jan 8, 2008Jul 17, 2008HydrostadiumSystem for fastening mobile members to be embedded in concrete, and method implementing said system
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/20
International ClassificationE01C19/00, E02D17/20, E01C19/52, A01G13/00, E01C5/00, A01B79/00, E02D31/00, E02B3/14, E02B3/12, A01G13/02, A01C21/00, E21D11/38
Cooperative ClassificationE01C19/522, A01C21/00, E02B3/126, B01D23/16, A01G13/0268, E02B3/122, E01C2201/167
European ClassificationB01D23/16, E02B3/12C, A01C21/00, E02B3/12C5, A01G13/02S2, E01C19/52B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 10, 1982AS04License
Owner name: ATKINSON FRANCIS S
Effective date: 19820218
Owner name: ERCO SYSTEMS INC A CORP OF LA
Owner name: REEVES, HERMAN H. NICK
Mar 10, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: ATKINSON FRANCIS S
Owner name: REEVES, HERMAN H. NICK
Free format text: LICENSE;ASSIGNOR:ERCO SYSTEMS INC A CORP OF LA;REEL/FRAME:003954/0238
Effective date: 19820218
Owner name: ATKINSON FRANCIS S, STATELESS
Owner name: REEVES, HERMAN H. NICK, STATELESS