What is Rip Rap?
Definition of Rip Rap in Construction
A collection of stones of various sizes and shapes, as designed by either a structural engineer or a landscape architect. The stone is placed in specified layers for various purposes. Rip Rap can be used to stabilize a steep slope, it can be used to divert water runoff, or eliminate erosion or unwanted disturbance by flowing water, such as the sides of a river, or culvert.
The term rip rap can mean different things to different engineers and professionals involved in construction, however it is normally a natural stone layer of varying thicknesses, used to stabilize slopes and water outfalls. Rip rap is normally selected based on availability. If the construction site involves the blasting of rock or the crushing of rock, then the establishment of rip rap slopes or outfalls is more common. If the site does not offer the opportunity to efficiently and economically obtain the rip rap, the design and layout of the site may be altered. Rip rap is a very common ground cover for difficult areas and can be used to hide a number is problems. To rip rap a slope can be a delicate and painstaking process, if the slope is steep and the rip rap needs to be placed to ensure a structural interlocking mat of rip rap. Or at the other extreme, rip rap can simply be dumped onto the location requiring the material and left to seek its natural positions as it falls.