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Xiao C.,Hebei University of Technology | Han J.,The University of Kansas | Zhang Z.,Tongji University
Geotextiles and Geomembranes | Year: 2016

Geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) walls have been increasingly used to support bridge foundations as abutment walls. On the GRS abutment wall, large footing loads are applied adjacent to the wall facing. However, so far limited studies have been conducted to investigate the performance of GRS abutment walls subjected to static or dynamic loading. This study presents a series of model tests on the GRS walls to evaluate the effects of several influence factors, including the offset distance of a strip footing, the width of the strip footing, the length of geogrid reinforcement, and the connection mode between geogrid and facing, on the ultimate bearing capacities of the strip footings on the GRS walls. The settlements of the loading plate and the lateral displacements of the wall facing during loading were monitored. Thin colored sand layers were placed in the backfill sand to observe possible failure surfaces developing in the GRS walls. The experimental results showed that the footings on the GRS walls with 0.7H (H is the wall height) long reinforcement reached the maximum bearing capacities at the offset distances of 0.3 H and 0.4 H in the wall tests with mechanical and frictional connections, respectively. When the GRS walls had the geogrids with longer reinforcement length (2H), the ultimate bearing capacity increased with the offset distance of the footing and became constant when the offset was greater than 0.4H. It was observed that the failure surface started from the edge of the footing and exited from the facing of the wall. Based on the limit equilibrium analyses, under the footing loading, the slip surfaces by Spencer's two-part wedge method had a good agreement with those observed in the model tests. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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