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Module 7
(Lecture 28)
RETAINING WALLS

Topics

1.1 RETAINING WALLS WITH METALLIC STRIP REINFORCEMENT


1.2 Calculation of Active Horizontal and vertical Pressure
Tie Force
Factor of Safety Against Tie Failure
Total Length of Tie
1.3 STEP-BY-STEP DESIGN PROCEDURE (METALLIC STRIP
REINFORCEMENT
General:
Internal Stability:
Internal Stability Check
Check for overturning:
Check for sliding
Check for bearing capacity

RETAINING WALLS WITH GEOTEXTILE REINFORCEMENT

Figure 7.30 shows a retaining wall in which layers of geotextile have been used as
reinforcement. As in figure 7. 30, the backfill is a granular soil. In this type of retaining wall, the
facing of the wall is formed by lapping the sheets as shown with a lap length of 1 . When
construction of the wall is finished, the exposed face of the wall must be covered; otherwise, the
geotextile will deteriorate from exposure to ultraviolet light. Bitumen emulsion or Gunite is
sprayed on the wall face. A wire mesh anchored to the geotextile facing may be necessary to
keep the coating on the face of the wall.
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The design of this type of retaining wall is similar to that presented in section 11. Following is a
step-by-step procedure for design based on the recommendations of Bell et al. (1975) and
Koerner (1990).

Figure 7.30 Retaining wall with geotextile reinforcement

Internal Stability:

1. Determine the active pressure distribution on the wall from

= = 1 [7.54]

Where

= Rankine earth pressure coefficient = tan2 (45 1 /2)


1 = unit weight of the granular backfill
1 = friction angle of the granular backfill

2. Select a geotextile fabric that has an allowable strength of (lb/ft or kN/m).


3. Determine the vertical spacing of the layers at any depth z from

= = ( [7.55]
( ) 1 )[ ( ) ]

Note that equation (55) is similar to equation (38). The magnitude of () is generally
1.3-1.5.

4. Determine the length of each layer of geotextile from

= + [7.56]
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Where

= [7.57]
tan 45+ 1
2

And

[( ) ]
= [7.58]
2 tan

= 1

= 1

() = 1.3 to 1.5

= friction angle at geotextile soil interface

23 1

Note that equations (56, 57 and 58) are similar to equations (42, 44, and 43), respectively.
Based on the published results, the assumption of /1 23 is reasonable and appears to
be conservative. Martin et al. (1984) presented the following laboratory test results for
/1 between various types of geotextiles and sand.

Type /1
0.87
Woven-monofilament/concrete sand
0.8
Woven-silt film/concrete sand
0.86
Woven-silt film/rounded sand
0.92
Woven-silt film/silty sand
0.87
Nonwoven-melt-bonded/concrete sand
1.0
Nonwoven-needle/concrete sand
0.93
Nonwoven-needle-punched/rounded sand
0.91
Nonwoven-needle-punched/silty sand
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5. Determine the lap length, 1 , from


( )
1 = 4 [7.59]
tan

The minimum lap length should be 3 ft (1 m).

External Stability:

6. Check the factors of safety against overturning, sliding, and bearing capacity failure.

Example 7

A geotextile-reinforced retaining wall 16 ft high is shown in figure 7.31. For the granular
backfill, 1 = 110 lb/ft 3 and 1 = 36 . For the geotextile, = 80 lb/in. For the design of the
wall, determine , , and 1 .

Figure 7.31
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Solution
1
= tan2 45 = 0.26
2

Determination of

To find , we make a few trials. From equation (55),



= (
1 )[ ( ) ]

With () = 1.5 at = 8 ft,


(8012 lb /ft)
= (110)(8)(0.26)(1.5) = 2.8 ft 33.6 in.

At = 12 ft,
(8012 lb /ft)
= (110)(12)(0.26)(1.5) = 1.87 ft 22 in.

At = 16 ft,
(8012 lb /ft)
= (110)(16)(0.26)(1.5) = 1.4 ft 16.8 in.

So, use = 20 in. , for = 0 to = 8 ft and = 16 in. , for > 8 ft. this is shown in figure
7. 31.

Determination of L

From equations (56, 57, and 58),


( )
= +
tan 45+ 1 2 tan
2

For () = 1.5, tan = tan23(36) = 0.445 and

= (0.51)( ) + 0.438
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Now the following table can be prepared.

(in.) (ft0 (ft) (0.51)( 0.438 (ft) (ft)


= )(ft)

16 1.33 1.67 7.48 0.731 8.21

56 4.67 1.67 5.78 0.731 6.51

76 6.34 1.67 4.93 0.731 5.66

96 8.0 1.67 4.08 0.731 4.81

112 9.34 1.33 3.40 0.582 3.982

144 12.0 1.33 2.04 0.582 2.662

176 14.67 1.33 0.68 0.582 1.262

Based on the preceding calculations, use = 8.5 ft for 8 ft and = 4 ft for > 8 ft.

Determination of

From equation (59),


( )
= 4
tan

With = 1 , () = 1.5; with = 1 , = 231 . So


( ) (0.26)(1.5)
= = 4 tan 2(36) = 0.219
4 tan 3

At = 16 in.
20
= 0.219 = (0.219) 12 = 0.365ft 3 ft

So, use = 3 ft.

RETAINING WALLS WITH GEOGRID REINFORCEMENT

Geogrids can also be used as reinforcement in granular backfill for the construction of retaining
walls. Figure 7.32 shows typical schematic diagrams of retaining walls with geogrid
reinforcement.
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Figure 7. 32 typical schematic diagrams of retaining walls with geogrid reinforcement: (a)
geogrid wraparound wall; (b) wall with gabion facing; (c) concrete panel-faced wall (after the
Tensar Corporation, 1986)
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Figure 7.32 Continued

Relatively few field measurements are available for lateral earth pressure on retaining walls
constructed with geogrid reinforcement. Figure 7.33 shows a comparison of measured and
design lateral pressures (Berg et al., 1986) for two retaining walls constructed with precise panel
facing (see figure 7. 35c). It indicates that the measured earth pressure were substantially smaller
than those calculated for the Rankine active case.

Figure 7.33 Comparison of theoretical and measured lateral pressures in goegrid reinforced
retaining walls (based on Berg et al., 1986)

The results of another interesting full-scale test on a retaining wall with geogrid reinforcement,
granular backfill, and a height of 3.6 m were reported by Thamm et al. (1990). The main
reinforcement for the wall was TENSAR SR2 geogrid. Figure 7.34 shows a schematic diagram
of the retaining wall. Failure in the wall was caused by applying load to a concrete slab
measuring 2.4 m 0.9 m. The wall failed when the vertical load, V, on the concrete slab
reached1065kN. Figure 7.35 shows the variation of the wall face displacement and the
distribution of lateral pressure as the loading progressed, from which the following conclusions
can be drawn:
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Figure 7.34 Schematic diagram of the retaining wall tested by Thamm et al. (1990)
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Figure 7.35 Observation from tests on the retaining wall shown in figure 7.37: (a) facing
displacement with loading; (b) lateral earth pressure with loading (based on Thamm et al., 1990)

1. The shape of the lateral earth pressure distribution on the wall face is similar to that
shown in figure 7. 29b.
2. At failure load, the magnitude of /( = facing displacement) at the top of the wall
was about 1.7%, which is considerably higher than may be encountered for a rigid
retaining wall.
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GENERAL COMMENTS

Great progress is being made in the development of rational design procedures for mechanically
stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls. Readers are directed to Transportation Research Circular
No. 444 (1995) and Federal Highway Administration Publication No. FHWA-SA-96-071 (1996)
for further information. However, a few recent development are summarized below.

1. Rankines active pressure was used in the design of MSE retaining walls in this chapter.
The appropriate value of the earth pressure coefficient to be used in the design depends,
however, on the degree of restraint that the reinforcing elements impose on the soil. If the
wall can yield substantially, the Rankine active earth pressure may be appropriate, which
is not the case for all types of MSE walls. Figure 7.36 shows the recommended design
values for lateral earth pressure coefficient, K. note that

Figure 7.36 Recommended design values for lateral earth pressure coefficient, K (after
Transportation Research Board, 1995)
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= = 1

Where

= lateral earth pressure


= effective vertical stress
1 = unit weight of granular backfill

In figure 7.36, = tan2 (45 1 /2), where 1 is the angle of friction of the backfill.

2. In sections 11 and 13, the effective length ( ) against tie pullout was calculated behind
the Rankine failure surface (for example, see figure 7.29a).

Recent field measurements and theoretical analysis show that the potential failure surface
may depend on the type of reinforcement. Figure 7.37 shows the potential failure plane
locations for walls with inextensible and extensible reinforcement in the granular backfill.
New developments in the design of MSE walls will be incorporated into future editions
of the text.

Figure 7.37 Location of potential failure surface (after Transportation Research Board, 1995)
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