What Is Gabion? Its Types, Advantages, Application

Different types of gabion such as gabion baskets, gabion walls, gabion wire mesh, gabion sacks, etc. are widely used in the stabilization of banks, coasts, highways, slope stability, and erosion protection, retaining walls, landscaping, military applications, and road building.

What Is Gabion?

Gabion is a welded mesh wire cage or box filled with materials like rocks or stone, concrete, sand, soil, and rocks. The word “Gabion” comes from the Italian word “Gabbione” which means big cage.

Gabion retaining wall wire mesh

Sometimes, root branches may be placed between the rock-filled cages to improve the durability and stability of the gabion. The longevity of the gabions depends on the durability of the galvanized wires. In this article, types of gabion, application, and advantages are discussed.

Types Of Gabions

Depending upon their function and cost different types of gabion walls are as follows:

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1. Gabion Basket

It is the most popular type of gabions used widely. Gabions baskets are box-shaped steel wire mesh made in various sizes. The baskets are filled with stones and placed on slopes, acting as semi-flexible building blocks for erosion control.

For better stabilization installing plants and trees into a gabion basket is also recommended. They can be used for the construction of retaining walls, building mounds and banks, highways, and railways.

2. Gabion Sacks

Gabion sacks are cylindrical wire mesh baskets made of double twisted galvanized steel with or without PVC coating.

Gabion sack is similar to gabion basket. It can be used in an emergency situation and river training, to provide defense from the erosion effect of water.

3. Gabion Wire Mesh

These are used for slope stabilization and to prevent rock, and stone fall on highways and railways. The gabion wire mesh is also used in embankments in conjunction with geogrids reinforcement.

4. Gabion Mattresses

Gabion mattresses, also known as reno mattresses, are another type of box gabion structure. These gabions have lower heights than the other type of gabions.

They are employed in channel coating to provide erosion protection. They can also be used to quickly cover a large area without lifting it, but just strengthening it.

5. Gabion Wall

Gabion walls are trending these days. Day by day their popularity is increasing rapidly. Gabion walls not only offer a strong structure and aesthetic appeal but can also be used as decorative elements too.

Additionally, gabion walls are cost-effective and require no maintenance also they have structural advantages over concrete walls.

Adgantages Of Gabions

There are various advantages of gabions. They are as follows:

1. Aesthetics

Gabion walls provide a very natural and aesthetically pleasing look as they use natural materials that incorporate with the environment.

2. Durability

Most Gabion types are highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion due to the well-bonded zinc coating on the wire.

3. Strength

Gabions are strong enough to resist flood forces, torrential forces, ice, and earth pressure.

4. Permeability

Gabions are fully permeable. It naturally drains off the water which eliminates the need for the installation of drainage pipes.

5. Flexibility

Gabion walls can be settled without failure and losing their efficiency in any situation such as unstable ground or moving water.

6. Economical

Since gabions use natural materials available on-site, the cost of acquisition and transport is relatively low.

7. Environment Friendly

Different types of recycled materials can be used in the gabion cage. The void between materials permits plants to grow which strengthens the wall structure offering landscaping opportunities.

gabion wall wire mesh

Disadvantages Of Gabions

  • Difficult to install, require large equipment.
  • If not placed properly, the gabion can fail quickly and increase erosion.
  • When used for riverbank stabilization it will increase the water flow rate and erosion.
  • Low habitat value.
  • Low-quality wire cage will not last long.


In present times, various gabion types are increasingly being used in architectural designs not only for aesthetics but also for functionality.

The use of gabions includes a variety of areas from highway construction or private shore protection to landscaping areas. The various applications of gabions are as follows:

  • Construction of retaining wall structure, soil stabilization, river training, canal training, hydraulic structure.
  • Gabion sacks are used in the foundation of dams.
  • Prevents rock/stone falls and soil erosion protection on highways.
  • It can be used as a noise barrier.
  • Gabions are used as flood walls or to change the direction of the flood water streams.
  • Lastly, architectural and aesthetic purposes.
types of gabion
types of gabion fence

Also Read

Types Of Retaining Walls
Types Of Stone In Construction
Types Of Artificial Stone

Brick Vs Stone Masonry

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