Soil nails and anchors have similarities on the surface, but they have different working mechanism.
Anchor was divided into the free section and anchoring section along the full length , anchor as the fulcrum of piles or retaining walls in earth retaining structures, it will transmit the lateral earth pressure on the pile or on the retaining wall to the deep soil by its free section. In addition to anchoring segments, the anchor will receive same tension on the free section.
But the soil nail suffered tension changes along its entire length. Usually, the tension is big in the middle place and smaller in the two head. Sprayed concrete surface layer does not belong to the mainly retaining member in soil nailing, In function of soil own weight, its main role is stabilizing the excavation face of local soil, prevent erosion and caving. Soil nailing is a retaining structure which soil nails and reinforced soil around its body working together, similar to gravity retaining wall.
In addition, anchor is generally pre-set tensile stress, to take the soil body initiative constraints, but soil nails are without prestress, soil nail only take passive force after the deformation of soil body. Soil nail constraints on soil body need the deformation of the soil as compensate, so can not be considered the reinforcing bar like soil nail have the same restraint mechanisms.
Another, the number of anchor is usually limited while soil nails are arranged in dense, do not need strict accuracy and strict quality in the construction as anchor. Of course, there is special anchor bonding with soil body though whole length grouting without prestressed, in this particular case, anchor has transition to a soil nail.
Sinorock supply kinds of Soil nails and anchors.