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    Wire and dirt make it work!

  • Welded Wire Wall

Hilfiker’s Welded Wire Wall is an inextensible, all-steel Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining wall system made up of ready-to-install L-shaped welded wire mesh mats placed within layers of compacted soil. The welded wire mats reinforce the soil, providing the tensile strength to make the compacted soil into a stable structure.               

Unlike other MSE systems, the facing and soil reinforcement component is a single L-shaped unit, eliminating any need for a connection between the two and simplifying wall installation. Other advantages include:

  • ease of wall alignment and mat placement
  • design adaptability to various site conditions
  • project and site-specific manufactured materials
  • simple field cutting modifications for obstructions
  • lightweight components requiring minimal labor and equipment, and
  • quick back-filling and wall erection.

Being first patented in 1976 by William K. Hilfiker (Bill, Sr.), the Welded Wire Wall has many decades of substantiated wall performance history.

Compressible Facing

Hilfiker Retaining Walls developed the compressible facing for the Welded Wire Wall in the mid-90’s, which mitigates post-construction bulging in the layers and facing deformation. This feature allows our walls to accommodate differential settlement, and also has labor and equipment advantages during construction. Some agencies have since adopted and required this feature in their project specifications for wire-faced walls.


The Welded Wire Wall can be designed for a variety of applications, site conditions, and desired aesthetics.

The wall face can be:

  • battered
  • vertical
  • tiered / stepped
  • cantilever
  • non-galvanized wire, for an aged, rusted look, or
  • galvanized for a polished, metallic look
  • exposed wire
  • vegetated
  • covered with a concrete panels, shotcrete, wood, or other facing

While its primary function is a retaining wall structure, some alternate applications include:

  • storm damage repair
  • true bridge abutments
  • embankment stabilization
  • storage facilities
  • erosion control
  • mine facilities – crushers and truck dumps
  • support for haul roads or buildings
  • temporary structures for construction staging
  • rock fall protection

Wall height and loading isn’t a problem, given the proper design parameters and backfill soil properties. Hilfiker’s tallest wall design to date is over 180 feet! And for our mining applications, loading has been over 600 tons!

What is your lead time for new welded wire wall orders?

The materials lead time for stock wire from our Eureka, CA location can vary from 1-3 weeks for delivery. Lead time will greatly depend on our production line and schedule at the time you place your order. Typically, hot dip galvanized orders will have 1 week longer lead time than commercial galvanized or non-galvanized because they have to be shipped to a galvanizer to be dipped before delivery to the job. When you return a signed quote, indicate your desired delivery date and we will do our very best to work with you and meet your schedule.

What is the difference between hot-dipped vs. commercial galvanized?

Commercial Galvanized (CG) is a zinc wipe, which is a thin layer applied to the steel rods before they are welded into mesh. There is no ASTM specification for the zinc, only the steel, which is the same as non-galvanized - ASTM A1064. Commercial galvanized is not ASTM-certified and therefore we don’t get ‘credit’ for any added service life. The zinc coating is more for looks.

Hot Dip Galvanized (HD) is dipped in zinc after welding and after our fabrication, and can increase the service life of the wall through extra corrosion protection. ASTM A123 (or AASHTO M111) is the specification for the zinc coating and ASTM A1064 still pertains to the steel. HD galvanized thickness in diameter = 0.086 mm (2.0 oz./SF, ASTM A-123; 605 g/m2 ). HD does add additional lead time and cost compared to CG or non-galvanized.

See our Welded Wire Wall product specifications (in the above documents section) – one for commercial galvanizedand one for hot dipped.

What type of wire mesh do you stock for your Welded Wire Wall materials?

We keep non-galvanized and commercial galvanized welded wire mesh in stock at our Eureka, CA plant, in the following wire sizes and spacing:

What are the different facing options for permanent walls?