Weaving Barbed Wire Corners

Weaving barbed wire corners, step 1. (click to enlarge)
Weaving barbed wire corners, step 1. (click to enlarge)

Guest post by Patti Stouter about another low tech way to reinforce corners in earthquake zones. More methods are explained at EarthbagStructures.com:
“Corners are one of the most vulnerable parts of buildings in earthquakes. Straight wall earthbag construction has not yet been tested on a shake table or in a severe quake. It may absorb vibrations, but we don’t know for sure yet. Builders need to exercise all caution and build well to save lives.

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Barbed Wire Details in Seismic Areas

An engineer of note gave us some suggestions on how to improve earthbag corners in seismic areas. The engineer is concerned the barbed wire could shift in a quake. He felt that wire mesh anchors (4- 5 with 1″ long teeth, bent so it stands up nicely) would better secure barbed wire at corners. He … Read more

Barbed Wire Provides Tensile Strength

Some people are using sharp rocks, thorny vines, etc. to prevent slippage between bags. These things may help a little, but barbed wire does a lot more than prevent slippage –– it adds tensile strength to your structure. This point is often overlooked. Tensile strength restrains courses of domes from moving horizontally (expanding outwards from … Read more

Joining Ends of Barbed Wire

This may not be the most exciting post, but the information is important. We’re seeing photos of earthbag projects under construction that show barbed wire not being installed correctly. The best way is to use long pieces of barbed wire, preferably pieces that continue around the entire structure. Overlap the ends of the wire about … Read more

Durability of Barbed Wire

I emailed New Mexico Barbed Wire Collectors Association about the durability of barbed wire outdoors in the elements. If barbed wire lasts a long time in the rain and snow, then it should be even more durable when protected from the elements. Owen: Our readers would love to hear about the durability of barbed wire. … Read more

Straight Versus Zigzagging Barbed Wire

Do not zigzag barbed wire between courses of bags, because this will lessen its tensile strength. A load (stress) on the structure, such as a hurricane, earthquake or differential settling, would tend to pull the structure apart as the slack is taken out of the wire. Zigzagging the barbed wire would provide more attachment points, … Read more