International Journal of Civil & Structural Engineering
Author(s) : ANWAR A. E. AHMED, SULIMAN B. A. MOHAMED
Current FHWA design guidelines recommend the lateral earth pressure method for designing reinforced walls (face inclinations larger than 70o) and the limit equilibrium (LE) method for designing reinforced slopes (face inclinations less than 70o); however, this limitation is somewhat arbitrary and there is no clear reason why LE method could not be theoretically applicable to the design of reinforced walls. Therefore, this study evaluated the use of LE for predicting the failure of centrifuge geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) wall models. The variables considered in the centrifuge testing program were the reinforcement types, lengths, spacing, and height of the wall models. The comparison results indicated that LE with a noncircular failure surface and centrifuge models had good agreement in locating failure surfaces. Insoil/ confined ultimate tensile strengths Tult of reinforcements were back-calculated from LE analyses at wall failure (FS=1.0) and consistent confined Tult values were obtained for models with the same type of reinforcements. The consistent confined Tult values imply that the LE can predict the maximum reinforcement loads at wall failure fairly well. Experimental results and the resulting discussion presented in this paper improve the understanding of LE analysis of geosyntheticreinforced soil walls.