Numerical Study of Reinforced Soil Segmental Walls Using Three Different Constitutive Soil Models

A numerical finite-difference method (FLAC) model was used to investigate the influence of constitutive soil model on predicted response of two full-scale reinforced soil walls during construction and surcharge loading. One wall was reinforced with a relatively extensible polymeric geogrid and the other with a relatively stiff welded wire mesh. The backfill sand was modeled using three different constitutive soil models varying as follows with respect to increasing complexity: linear elastic-plastic Mohr-Coulomb, modified Duncan-Chang hyperbolic model, and Lade's single hardening model. Calculated results were compared against toe footing loads, foundation pressures, facing displacements, connection loads, and reinforcement strains. In general, predictions were within measurement accuracy for the end-of-construction and surcharge load levels corresponding to working stress conditions. However, the modified Duncan-Chang model which explicitly considers plane strain boundary conditions is a good compromise between prediction accuracy and availability of parameters from conventional triaxial compression testing. The results of this investigation give confidence that numerical FLAC models using this simple soil constitutive model are adequate to predict the performance of reinforced soil walls under typical operational conditions provided that the soil reinforcement, interfaces, boundaries, construction sequence, and soil compaction are modeled correctly. Further improvement of predictions using more sophisticated soil models is not guaranteed.

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  • Authors:
    • Huang, Bingquan
    • Bathurst, Richard J
    • Hatami, Kianoosh
  • Publication Date: 2009-10


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01145134
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 28 2009 8:59PM