Erosion and Sediment Control

Poster Presentation

Structural Analysis of Silt Fence Steel Posts

Tuesday, February 13
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Level of Presentation: Beginner

This poster will evaluate the structural integrity and failure of silt fence posts by mimicking the effects of hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces applied during heavy rainfalls. This research also evaluates placement of the posts as well as different post properties (i.e. density, length) for determining the ideal materials and designs.

One of the problems many contractors face in various construction projects is the inability of a silt fence to withstand hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces that are applied by runoff and sediment erosion during heavy rainfall events. The consequences of these excessive forces are silt fence failure due to T-posts bending at ground level. This results in sediment contaminating downstream water bodies leaving negative externalities on the environment. Because of the location at post failure point (i.e. ground level), it can be determined that the problem is lying within the strength/placement of the T-post.
In this study, the strength of steel T-posts are tested by mimicking the horizontal force runoff and sediment apply on the silt fence support structure. From this testing phase, different design schemes such as T-post placement or addition of additional support to the post were evaluated to recommend an acceptable support system for the silt fence. Further evaluations can then be made to determine the maximum post spacing as well as the best material and design to suit the forces applied on the silt fence barrier.
The study was designed to model the deflection of posts in correlation to the amount of force applied. The variables tested include both height of the post as well as different post densities.

Learning Objectives:

Target Audience: Contractor,Landscape,Manufacturer

Carter Bohle

Iowa State University

Carter Bohle is an undergraduate student at Iowa State University pursuing a degree in civil engineering. He is a LEED Green Associate and involved in several water and soil conservation groups throughout the state and nation as well as within the college. His interest and research are within water and soil techniques and practices.


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Structural Analysis of Silt Fence Steel Posts

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