Numerical analysis of dense narrow backfills for increasing lateral passive resistance.
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Numerical analysis of dense narrow backfills for increasing lateral passive resistance.

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  • English

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      NTL-HIGHWAY/ROAD TRANSPORTATION-Bridges and Structures
    • Abstract:
      Previously, full-scale lateral load tests conducted on pile caps with different aspect ratios showed that placement

      of a narrow, dense backfill zone against the cap could substantially increase the passive resistance. The objective

      of this study is to develop design equations to predict the increased passive resistance for these limited width

      backfills for both 2D and 3D conditions. For this purpose, the finite element program, PLAXIS 2D was used to

      investigate the 2D or plane strain passive resistance. To validate the procedure, numerical results were calibrated

      against analytical results obtained from PYCAP and ABUTMENT. The analytical models were additionally

      validated by comparison with measured ultimate passive resistances. The calibrated model was then used to

      simulate the passive behavior of limited width gravel backfills. Parametric studies were also executed to

      evaluate the influence of a range of selected design parameters, related to the pile cap geometry and backfill soil

      type, on the passive resistance of limited width backfills. Numerical results indicated that significant increases in

      passive resistance could be expected for long abutment walls where end effects are less pronounced and the

      geometry is closer to a plane strain condition. Based on results obtained from the parametric studies, a design

      method was developed for predicting the ultimate passive resistance of limited width backfills, for both plane

      strain and 3D geometries. Comparisons between measured and numerical results indicated that using the Brinch-

      Hansen 3D correction factor, R3D, as a multiplier to the plane strain resistances, will provide a conservative

      estimate of the actual 3D passive response of a pile cap with a limited width backfill.

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