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Field monitoring of mechanically stabilized earth walls to investigate secondary reinforcement effects.
  • Published Date:
    2015-12-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.81 MB]


Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    KS-15-09
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls have been commonly used in highway construction. AASHTO (2007) has

    detailed design procedures for such a wall system. In the current AASHTO design, only primary reinforcements are used in

    relatively large spacing (commonly 2 feet), which requires higher connection strength between reinforcements and wall facing.

    Large spacing between reinforcements may also increase the chances of wall facing bulging and construction-related problems. To

    alleviate such problems, the use of secondary reinforcements installed between primary reinforcements was proposed. The use of

    secondary reinforcements could (1) reduce the required connection load for primary reinforcement, (2) increase the internal

    stability by secondary reinforcement, (3) improve the compaction near the wall facing, and (4) mitigate the down-drag behind the

    wall facing. However, this idea was not verified in practice.

    To improve the understanding of the performance of MSE walls with secondary reinforcement and verify its benefits in

    practice, three MSE wall sections reinforced with geogrids were constructed and monitored in the field: (1) an MSE wall section

    with uniaxial geogrids as primary and secondary reinforcements, (2) an MSE wall section with uniaxial geogrids as primary

    reinforcements and with biaxial geogrids as secondary reinforcements, and (3) an MSE wall section with uniaxial geogrids as

    primary reinforcements only (i.e., the control section). Earth pressure cells, inclinometer pipes and a probe, and foil-type strain

    gauges were used in these three test wall sections to measure the vertical and lateral earth pressures, lateral wall facing deflections,

    and strains of primary and secondary geogrids, respectively. The measured results (i.e., the wall facing deflections, the vertical and

    horizontal earth pressures, and the strains of geogrids) were compared with those calculated using AASHTO (2007).

    Based on the analysis of the field test results, major conclusions can be drawn in the following: (1) the secondary

    reinforcements reduced the wall facing deflections as compared with those in the control section; (2) the measured vertical earth

    pressures were close to the computed trapezoid stresses and increased with the construction of the wall; (3) the distribution of the

    measured lateral earth pressures in the control section linearly increased with depth, while the distributions of the measured lateral

    earth pressures in the sections with secondary reinforcements were approximately uniform with depth; (4) the measured tensile

    strains at the connection in all sections were small; and (5) secondary reinforcements reduced the maximum tensile strains in the

    primary geogrids.

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