Home SCIENCE Sand Castle Holds Up A Car! – Mechanically Stabilized Earth

Sand Castle Holds Up A Car! – Mechanically Stabilized Earth


Dirt is probably the cheapest and simplest construction material out there, but it’s not very strong compared to other choices. Luckily geotechnical engineers have developed a way to strengt hen earthen materials with almost no additional effort – Mechanically Stabilized Earth (aka MSE or Reinforced Soil).

source/image(PrtSc): Practical Engineering

If you look closely, you’ll see MSE walls are everywhere. Thanks for watching, and let me know what you think!

In this entertaining video, we learn how to use separating materials to help share the load, allowing something as simple as sand to hold up the weight of the car with the help of a regular old fiberglass screen in a material that’s known as mechanically stabilized earth.


Soils are frictional materials. Rather than being held together by molecular bonding like steel or by a binder like the cement in concrete, their strength almost completely depends on internal friction between the soil particles themselves.